Rookie sensation Scott Wilson (Oakville, Ont.) netted a goal and an assist, but it wasn't enough as the River Hawks fell to Providence College 5-3 in the Tsongas Center during game one of the Hockey East Quarterfinals.
The Friars, propelled by a pair of goals from sophomore Derek Army (North Kingstown, R.I.), improved to 13-18-4 overall this season. UMass Lowell hockey dropped to 22-11-1 on the campaign. The River Hawks will try to avoid becoming the first two-seed to ever lose a series to a seventh-seed in the Hockey East Quarterfinals as they host the Friars again on Friday night at 7 p.m.
The game opened with a bang as UMass Lowell's Josh Holmstrom (Colorado Springs, Colo.) scored the opening tally at 9:59 into action. Wilson fired a shot from the far point that was stopped by Alex Beaudry (Cumberland, Ont.). A crashing Riley Wetmore (Swanton, Vt.) took a swipe at the rebound, knocking the puck off the post, before Holmstrom finished the job for his 11th tally of the season.
Providence erased the deficit early in the second period, working on a power play. Myles Harvey (Orlando, Fla.) and Kevin Hart (Cumberland, Maine) cycled to Army at the near wing for a one-timer that found the back of the net.
The Friars then captured their first lead of the game at 9:38 into the second as Andy Balysky (Randolph, N.J.) buried a rebound off of Ross Mauermann's (Janesville, Wisc.) shot from close range.
The River Hawks bounced back a few minutes later with a power play goal from Wilson at 12:03. Wetmore cycled to Zack Kamrass (Atlanta, Ga.) at the point, who then found Wilson at the top of near circle for a blast through traffic and past a screened Beaudry.
Despite the momentum swing, Providence scored again late in the second period to push its lead to 3-2. Damian Cross (Nepean, Ont.) found Army flying down the far wall and his shot beat a heavily screened Doug Carr (Hanover, Mass.) at the net.
The Friars expanded their lead to 4-2 midway through the third as Matt Bergland (Faribault, Minn.) cleaned up a Tim Schaller (Merrimack, N.H.) shot that rang off of the post on a 3-on-2 at 11:30.
UMass Lowell closed the gap at the 15 minute mark as Matt Ferreira (Brampton, Ont.) buried a pass from David Vallorani (Hamilton, Ont.) at the net front for his 12th goal of the year.
With time winding down, the River Hawks pulled the goaltender in favor of an extra attacker, but Drew Brown (Grass Lake, Mich.) blocked a shot and Bergland was off to the races with the loose puck for the empty net goal.
For the night, Carr turned away 36-of-40 shots to fall to 20-8-1 on the year. His counterpart, Beaudry, stopped 33 shots to improve to 12-18-4 overall. Both teams finished 1-for-5 on the power play.