LOWELL, Mass. (November 22, 2013) - Stephen Buco (North Providence, RI) scored the game's lone goal and Connor Hellebuyck (Commerce, Mich.) collected his second shutout of the season as #16 UMass Lowell (9-4-0, 3-1-0 Hockey East) picked up a 1-0 win over #6 University of Notre Dame (8-3-1, 2-1-1 Hockey East).
The 6,515 (sellout) fans who packed the Tsongas Center expecting to see a battle between two of the top-rated defensive teams in the country were not disappointed.
"If you were a fan who showed up tonight, you got everything you wanted - maybe a few less goals than you anticipated," said River Hawks Head Coach Norm Bazin. "Overall it was a good hockey game with a lot of shots and lots of opportunities for both teams. This was a playoff style hockey game - it was close right to the very end."
The River Hawks were able to crack the Fight Irish's #1 rated penalty kill when Buco finished off a play started by Adam Chapie to pick up a power play goal at 15:46 of the first period. It was Buco's second-straight game with a goal and his third of the season.
"Adam Chapie made a nice play coming in the zone, slowing up and making a nice pass over to Ryan McGrath who made a little touch pass down to me. I just had to finish off the play, a little back hand - luckily it went in," said Buco.
The goal would prove to be enough as Hellebuyck and the River Hawks' defensive corps staved off Notre Dame's attack. Hellebuyck would finish the game with 40 saves, earning his second straight shutout and 8th of his UMass Lowell career. A sophomore, Hellebuyck is two shutouts shy of the school's all-time shutout mark.
"I think it comes from the guys in front of me," Hellebuyck said in crediting the team's defense. "When we're paying the price and blocking a lot of shots and getting our sticks in good lanes, the game becomes pretty simple down there. The D played really well in the corners, holding things up. I think we support each other really well."
The two teams will battle it out again tomorrow afternoon, facing off at the Tsongas Center at 4 PM.
"WHITE OUT" AT REMATCH TOMORROW AFTERNOON: UMass Lowell and Notre Dame will square off again tomorrow after with a 4 PM match up. Fans are encouraged to wear white and 1,000 t-shirts will be distributed to the student section for a "White Out". Fans may also purchase tickets online at TsongasCenter.com or by contacting Andrew Ralph (email@example.com; 978-934-5749) or Joe Fellini (firstname.lastname@example.org; 978-934-5751) or at the Tsongas Center Box Office.