BOSTON, Mass. - Led by a career-high three points from senior Charlie Levesque (Russell, Ontario), the UMass Lowell hockey team (5-7-0) picked up a 4-1 Hockey East road win at No. 16 Northeastern (8-6-2) on Friday evening.
The River Hawk penalty kill was perfect on the night, forcing the second-ranked power play team in the nation to go 0-3 in the contest. Freshman goalie Henry Welsch (Lakeville, Minn.) earned his fourth win of the season with 15 saves, while NU's Connor Murphy made 18 stops in the loss.
"This was a good, gut-check win for the guys," said Head Coach Norm Bazin. "I thought the game didn't start off as well as we would've liked. I thought our penalty kill was good and our puck possession continually got better as the game went on, so I'm really pleased with the effort.
"We had good puck pressure up ice," he added. "We not only had one point of pressure, but added two-to-three points of pressure at the same time, so I thought they played well off of each other. That's going to have to continue if we hope to have success here tomorrow."
Like Levesque, junior Seth Barton (Kelowna, B.C.) finished with multiple points in the win, totaling one goal and one assist. Senior Connor Sodergren (Tewksbury, Mass.) rounded out the goal scorers for the River Hawks.
The Huskies struck first and fast, jumping out to a 1-0 lead just over a minute into the game thanks to a goal by Dylan Jackson. However, the River Hawks were quick to respond, as Sodergren took the puck out from behind the goal line before sending a shot back towards the net for the equalizer at 6:10 of the first. Less than three minutes later, Levesque fired a wrister through traffic from just inside the blue line to give the River Hawks the 2-1 edge they would hold onto throughout the remainder of the period.
The River Hawks defense limited the Huskies to just five chances in the second. Zach Solow got a stick on a puck in front of the net for a good tip late in the period, but Welsch scrambled to cover it up. The visitors then fended off a power play run as the clock wound down to hold onto the one-goal margin.
Coming into the final frame, the Huskies threatened with three quick shots on target, but they were turned away once again by Welsch. With seven minutes left to play, the home team went on the man-advantage with a five-forward power play unit that was once again killed off by the River Hawks. UMass Lowell then added an insurance goal seconds later, when sophomore Andre Lee (Karlstad, Sweden) skated out of the box in time to get the puck from freshman Nik Armstrong-Kingkade (Alexandria, Va.) and dish it over to Levesque for the tip-in. Barton would seal the 4-1 outcome with an empty-netter in the final seconds.
The River Hawks and Huskies will wrap up the home-and-home series tomorrow, Saturday, February 20, at the Tsongas Center.