LOWELL, Mass. - Tied through two periods, a huge offensive showing in the third lifted the UMass Lowell hockey team (2-1-0, 2-1-0 HEA) to a 5-3 victory against Hockey East foe Maine on Sunday evening.
The teams were knotted, 2-2, through two periods, but the River Hawks tallied three goals in the first five minutes of the third to put the game out of reach.
"We were glad to get out of this game with a win," said Head Coach Norm Bazin. "We had all we could handle and then some. We'll have to clean some things up for tomorrow, but we're obviously glad about the points."
Sophomore Andre Lee (Karlstad, Sweden) led the River Hawks with two goals and two assists for four points on the night. That performance marked the first four-point game for a River Hawk since Ryan Lohan did so in January of 2018. Freshman defenseman Ben Meehan (Walpole, Mass.) added to the effort with three assists and junior Nolan Sawchuk (Burnsville, Minn.) added two helpers of his own.
From the drop of the puck, the River Hawks went on the attack, netting two goals in just over four minutes to open the contest. The team first opened the scoring when Sawchuk sent a long pass up ice to Lee at the blue line for a tip over to senior Charlie Levesque (Russell, Ontario), who beat the last defender and fired on target at 2:10. Just under two minutes later, Sawchuk was the playmaker once again, this time getting out in front of the pack and dishing the puck across to Lee to send a wrist shot blazing past the Black Bears' goaltender, putting the River Hawks on top, 2-0.
Maine cut the difference in half in the final three minutes of the first period on a power play goal by Brad Morrissey, making the score 2-1 at the intermission. Coming out of the break, the River Hawks took an 8-1 shots on goal advantage in the first 10 minutes of the second. However, the visitors erased the difference and knotted the game at 2-2 on a one-timer from Ben Poisson at 10:52.
The third period was the difference maker, as UMass Lowell once again took advantage of the first five minutes of play, this time scoring three goals in that timespan. Sophomore Carl Berglund (Hammaro, Sweden) broke the stalemate when he finished a long pass from junior Chase Blackmun (Hudson, Wis.) at 1:04. Lee and senior Connor Sodergren (Tewksbury, Mass.) then added power play goals to give the River Hawks some breathing room.
The Black Bears cut into the difference with the final goal of the night at 11:58 in the third, but UMass Lowell was able to fend off any other chances to take the 5-3 victory.
The teams are back in action to finish up the Hockey East series tomorrow afternoon, January 4, at 3 p.m.