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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The fifth-ranked UMass Lowell River Hawks downed the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers 4-0 on Saturday to cap a weekend southern sweep. Carter Hutton (Thunder Bay, Ont.) posted his second shutout of the season, stopping all 19 Charger shots. The shutout was Hutton's eighth of his career, tying Cam McCormick for the all-time River Hawk career shutout record.
The non-conference win boosts UMass Lowell to 7-2-1 on the season. The River Hawks are now unbeaten in their last five contests (4-0-1). Alabama-Huntsville slides to 3-7-0 overall, losing its sixth consecutive game.
The River Hawks jumped on the board first, waiting just over five minutes to climb onto the scoreboard. On a turnover by the Chargers in their own zone, Paul Worthington (Langhorne, PA) tapped the puck to Chris Auger (Belleville, Ont.). Auger connected with captain Ben Holmstrom (Colorado Springs, CO) as he skated past his teammates towards the net and beat goaltender Cameron Talbot (Caledonia, Ont.) to give UMass Lowell a 1-0 advantage.
It took less than a minute for the River Hawks to score again on a redirection by winger Kory Falite (Billerica, MA) at the 6:17 mark into the first. Maury Edwards (Rocky Rapids, Alta.) sent the puck along to the boards to Scott Campbell (Navan, Ont.) who ripped a shot at the Alabama-Huntsville net. Falite had been screening Talbot, but the puck hit him in the leg and deflected into the net to extend the lead to two goals.
UMass Lowell would collect one more score before the first period was over as David Vallorani (Hamilton, Ont.) potted a goal with 7:22 left in the stanza. Nick Schaus (Buffalo, NY) set up Campbell on the near boards as he looked lined up for quality shot. Campbell audibled and sent the puck across ice to Vallorani waiting on the weak-side post for the quick release and the 3-0 lead.
The second period slowed down dramatically as the two teams traveled left to right without much stoppage. That all changed with just 1:30 remaining--freshman Joe Caveney (Fitchberg, MA) netted a rebound goal to extend the River Hawk lead to 4-0. Fellow freshman Chris Ickert (Abbotsford, B.C.) set up Falite as he emerged from behind the net and ripped a shot that was saved by Talbot. Caveney got behind the defense and was able to jam in the rebound for his first collegiate goal. The play also awarded Ickert with his first point, collecting the secondary assist.
Hutton was terrific in goal, actively sending the puck up ice to counter the Chargers' forecheck. The senior netminder made 19 saves as he improves to 4-2-0 overall. Alabama-Huntsville's Talbot stopped 27-of-31 shots on goal as he fell to 3-7-0 on the season.
Both teams went scoreless on the power play; UMass Lowell came up empty in seven chances while blanking all four Charger power plays.
The River Hawks now have a brief break before hosting valley rival Merrimack (6-4-0, 3-2-0 HE) on Saturday night at 7 p.m.