|1st||4:29||UML||1-0||PP||Dylan Zink (1)||Michael Kapla/1, Joe Gambardella/1|
|2nd||3:54||MND||1-1||PP||Neal Pionk (2)||Alex Iafallo/2|
|2nd||4:59||UML||2-1||PP EA||Joe Gambardella (1)||Mattias Göransson/1, C.J. Smith/1|
|2nd||9:25||UML||3-1||EV||Joe Gambardella (2)||C.J. Smith/2|
|2nd||14:08||UML||4-1||PP||Mattias Göransson (1)||Tyler Mueller/1, C.J. Smith/3|
|2nd||18:16||MND||2-4||PP||Karson Kuhlman (1)||Kyle Osterberg/1|
|3rd||1:03||MND||3-4||PP||Brenden Kotyk (1)||Neal Pionk/3, Adam Johnson/2|
|3rd||16:30||MND||4-4||EV GT||Kyle Osterberg (3)||Karson Kuhlman/3, Dominic Toninato/1|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||OT||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Minnesota Duluth (2-0-1)||3/11||8/16||0|
|UMass Lowell (0-0-1)||3/8||11/22||0|
|Minnesota Duluth Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||OT||Saves|
|Nick Deery (T, 0-0-1)||30:51||0||0||3||10||0||13|
|UMass Lowell Goaltending||MIN||GA||1||2||3||OT||Saves|
|Christoffer Hernberg (T, 0-0-1)||64:53||4||8||7||19||5||39|
LOWELL, Mass. -- LOWELL, Mass. - The No. 7 UMass Lowell hockey team (0-0-1) skated to a 4-4 tie against No. 5 Minnesota Duluth (2-0-1) in the squad's season opener on Friday night at the Tsongas Center in front of 6,066 fans, commencing the River Hawks 50th season of hockey.
Senior forward Joe Gambardella (Staten Island, N.Y.) and sophomore forward C.J. Smith (Des Moines, Iowa) headlined the contest with a game-high three points apiece. Gambardella was the game's only two-goal scorer, while Smith led the way with three assists.
"Overall, I am sure it was an exciting game for the fans, there were a lot of turn overs and momentum shifts tonight," said Head Coach Norm Bazin. "At the end of the day we want to finish with two points but that didn't quite work out. We will take our one and focus on tomorrow."
Sophomore Goaltender Christoffer Hernberg (Espoo, Finland) made a career-high 39 saves in his second career start, while his counterparts combined for 24 saves.
Special teams played a major role for both sides, as each unit saw three of their four goals come at the hands of their opponents' penalties.
Just four minutes into the start of the 2016-17 season, senior defenseman Dylan Zink (Madison, Wis.) tallied the first goal of the year for the River Hawks. After a Bulldog penalty, UMass Lowell made the most of their man up advantage when Zink one timed senior defenseman Michael Kapla's (Eau Clair, Wis.) pass top self for the 1-0 buffer.
Gambardella, Smith and freshman defenseman Mattias Goransson (Slottsbron, Sweden) boasted two points each in the second frame, helping UMass Lowell glide into intermission with a two-goal lead.
At 3:53 in the second period, the visitors knotted the match, 1-1, with a special teams goal of their own. Defenseman Neal Pionk got his squad on the board when he connected with teammate forward Alex Iafallo to sneak one by Hernberg.
UMass Lowell didn't trail for long thanks to Gambardella who reclaimed the home team's lead, 2-1, just 66 seconds later. The scoring effort was lead by the special team unit of Smith and Goransson who were awarded the helper.
A defensive steal by Smith lead to a two-on-one break away, setting up Gambardella for his first goal of the night, giving the River Hawks a 3-1 edge. UMass Lowell continued its power play dominance as Goransson recorded his first career goal to push the club's lead to 4-1.
With less than two minutes remaining in the period, Minnesota Duluth's Karson Kuhlman posted his teams second goal of the tilt, marking the Bulldogs second man up goal of the night.
The Bulldogs blasted two third-period goals to even the score once more at 4-4. After a UMass Lowell penalty, defenseman Brenden Kotyk grabbed his first goal of the season just 63 seconds into the third period. Minnesota Duluth netted the equalizer with just four under minutes remaining in regulation. Forward Kyle Osterberg posted the teams only non-power play goal of the night.
Smith looked to put the game to rest with a goal in overtime, but the goal was later waved off due to a UMass Lowell goaltender interference penalty at the 2:23 mark of the extra frame.
UMass Lowell is back in action on Saturday, October 8 as the two squads wrap up the two-game series with a 7:05 puck drop at the Tsongas Center. The first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a special pint class promoting the 1967-1977 All-Era Team from Lowell Tech.