BELFAST, Northern Ireland-Four unanswered goals capped by an overtime one-timer from sophomore Stefan Owens (Midlothian, Va.) help cement the No. 14/13 UMass Lowell men's hockey team's (9-6-0, 5-3-0 Hockey East) 4-3 come-from-behind victory over Dartmouth (1-6-1, 1-3-1 ECAC) Saturday afternoon at the SSE Arena.
Owens was one of four skaters to pick up a goal and one of nine to register a point in the consolation round match. Seniors Zach Kaiser (Orangeville, Ontario) and Carl Berglund (Hammaro, Sweden) as well as freshman Nick Rhéaume (Trois-Rivieres, Quebec) added tallies in the tilt. Rhéaume's second-period goal marked the first of his collegiate career. He was one of three River Hawks to pick up career-first points this weekend.
In addition to his goal, Kaiser logged an assist to finish with a team-best two points. Junior defenseman Ben Meehan (Walpole, Mass.) joined Kaiser with a pair as well off two helpers, including the primary assist on Owens' game-winner. Sophomore Isac Jonsson (Ängelholm, Sweden) recorded a season and career-high five blocks to lead UMass Lowell's defensive efforts. Graduate student Gustavs Davis Grigals (Riga, Latvia) earned the win between the pipes, making five saves after coming in at the start of the second period.
Though the River Hawks came out hot with heavy pressure in the zone, Dartmouth struck first in the non-conference matchup. Lobbing the puck from range, Big Green defenseman Tanner Palocsik snuck the first goal of the day through a gap and under the glove of junior Henry Welsch (Lakeville, Minn.) to spark what would go on to be a three-goal run from the Big Green in the first 20 minutes.
Reassessing during the first intermission, the River Hawks returned to the ice to start their comeback efforts. Coming through with the first of two goals across 46 seconds, Kaiser found twine at 6:48 into the second period. Senior Ryan Brushett (Montreal, Quebec) pressured Dartmouth's Jack Cameron along the boards behind the goal, knocking it just out of the defender's reach. Brushett wrangled the puck as he took a dive and stretched out for the tip to Kaiser. The alternate wasted no time hitting a quick slapshot to catch Cooper Black off-guard and earn the first of the night.
UMass Lowell capitalized on the reinvigorated offense to net another moments later. Back on the ice after his goal, Kaiser battled in the corner to capture possession of the puck. He centered the puck with a pass to the middle for Rhéaume, who showcased his impressive stickhandling as he swiftly backhanded the puck into the cage to cut the deficit to 3-2 at the 7:34 mark.
The scoring came to a halt over the next 30 minutes of action. With Dartmouth just 1:59 away from claiming the upset, Grigals headed to the bench in favor of the extra attacker. Taking a faceoff in the offensive zone, freshman Jack Collins (Canton, N.Y.) used his size to his advantage to win the faceoff and send it back to his classmate Scout Truman (Lethbridge, Ontario). Truman connected with Jonsson on the blue line, who sent it across to Meehan. The junior ripped a shot from the slot that ricocheted loose off the pad of Black. Berglund was there for the rebound, scooping the puck up over the glove of Black to force extra minutes.
The golden chance for UMass Lowell came just 1:36 into the five-minute overtime. Capitalizing on a Dartmouth miscue on the line change, Meehan barreled up the ice and took a chance on Black. Denied from the slot, Meehan skated back around the net as Owens crept into place. Seeing his unmanned teammate, Meehan sauced the puck to Owens for the one-timer snipe into the top corner to earn the win.
The River Hawks are back stateside next Saturday, December 7, to face off once again against the No. 17/17 Massachusetts Minutemen on the road. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m.