LOWELL, Mass. - The eighth-ranked UMass Lowell River Hawks downed the New Hampshire Wildcats 6-3 with the help of four third-period goals. Senior Kory Falite (Billerica, MA) netted two scores and Nick Schaus (Buffalo, NY) had a goal and two assists to power the River Hawk offense.
The win propels UMass Lowell to first-place in Hockey East with a record of 3-1-1 in conference and 5-2-1 overall. The Wildcats slide to 2-5-2 on the season and 2-1-1 in Hockey East with the loss.
New Hampshire jumped on the board first, on a goal by Mike Sislo (Superior, WI) just 3:44 in the first game. Dalton Speelman (San Jose, CA) set up Sislo for the ice-breaking score.
The River Hawks responded with just 5:39 remaining in the first on a power play goal by Maury Edwards (Rocky Rapid, Alta.). With an umbrella set up around the perimeter, Paul Worthington (Langhorne, PA) spread the puck to Jeremy Dehner (Madison, WI). Dehner deflected the pass to Edwards for the vicious one-timer that seared past netminder Brian Foster (Pembroke, NH).
Shortly after the opening of the second period, UMass Lowell found itself the victim of bad luck. Off of the faceoff draw, Ryan Blair (Ashburn, VA) looked to dump the puck down behind the net, but his pass went wide and into the net, giving New Hampshire a 2-1 lead.
Falite tied the game up once more with a goal at 12:32 into the second period. Scott Campbell (Navan, Ont.) fed teammate Schaus for a one-timer just in front of the blue line. Falite surprised Foster with a deflection that sent the puck up and into the mesh to knot the game at two goals each.
With the game hanging in the balance, the River Hawks exploded in the third period. Captain Ben Holmstrom (Colorado Springs, CO) pump faked a pass while stationed to the goalie's right. Foster bit on the pass and Holmstrom put the shot off of the goaltender's back and into the net for a power play goal just 36 seconds into the period.
Falite struck again at 4:56 into the third, putting in the rebound following a David Vallorani (Hamilton, Ont.) shot. Vallorani stole the puck from New Hampshire in neutral ice, skated through the defense and had his shot partially saved by the Wildcats. Falite trailed the play and was able to put in the rebound as the puck began to slide wide of the net, giving UMass Lowell a 4-2 lead.
The lead was extended to 5-2 just under three minutes later as Schaus netted the third River Hawk power play goal. Michael Scheu (Buffalo, NY) and Chris Auger (Belleville, Ont.) rotated to Schaus for the one-timer that found a path to the net.
New Hampshire brought the game back within two goals as Bobby Butler (Marlboro, MA) skated through the UMass Lowell defense and scored with just over 10 minutes remaining the game. Butler received the pass from Connor Hardowa (Edmonton, Alta.) following an ill-fated clear attempt.
The final River Hawk goal came with 4:56 remaining in the contest. Vallorani and Schaus sent the puck up ice for Scheu, who skated into the New Hampshire zone. Scheu reeled off a quick shot that from the top of the far circle that flew past Foster to solidify the 6-3 UMass Lowell win.
Carter Hutton (Thunder Bay, Ont.) stopped a season-high 33-of-36 shots to pick up his third win of the season. New Hampshire's Foster made 28 saves while allowing six goals to fall to 2-5-2 in 2009-10.
The River Hawks scored a season-high three power play goals on six attempts, while blanking the Wildcats on three penalty kills.
UMass Lowell will now travel to Huntsville, Alabama for two games with the Chargers next weekend.