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UMass Lowell hockey's struggles continued on Friday night as the team dropped a 8-3 decision to Minnesota State in the Tsongas Center. The loss came despite a two-for-five showing on the power play, with goals from Maury Edwards (Rocky Rapids, Alta.) and Chad Ruhwedel (San Diego, Calif.).
The loss was the River Hawks' (2-9-2) fourth consecutive defeat overall, while the Mavericks improved to 3-6-4 on the season.
UMass Lowell came out firing in the first period, scoring a power play goal at 2:42 into the game. Michael Scheu (Buffalo, N.Y.) saved a clearing attempt and dished to Ruhwedel at the middle of the blue line. The rookie ripped a shot through traffic and into the net for his second goal of the season. The tally marked just the third time the River Hawks scored first in a game this year.
With the period growing late, Minnesota State leveled the score at 15:20. Ben Youds (Maple Grove, Minn.) buried a shot from Ryan Galiardi (Calgary, Alta.) for his first goal of the season.
UMass Lowell resumed its lead at the start of the second period, scoring another power play goal only 59 seconds after the puck drop. Chris Ickert (Abbotsford, B.C.) passed to Edwards at the point and the senior skated by a defender and fired a shot into the mesh. The goal was Edwards' second of the season and 20th power play goal of his career.
The glory was short lived as the Maverick's scored five consecutive goals over the remaining 19 minutes of the second period. Among the scores, junior Justin Jokinen (Carlton, Minn.) notched a hat trick to bury the River Hawks in a 6-2 hole at the end of the middle frame.
In the third, UMass Lowell had chances to cut into the Minnesota State lead. The River Hawks came up empty on a penalty shot as Colin Wright (Burlington, Ont.) rung the shot off the cross bar at 3:40 into the third. Shortly after, Joe Caveney (Fitchburg, Mass.) deflected a shot into the goal for his third score of the season at 8:21. With momentum mounting as the lead was cut to 6-3, the Mavericks poured on two more goals to put any chance at a comeback out of reach.
UMass Lowell's Marc Boulanger (Olds, Alta.) started in net, making 13 saves in roughly 25 minutes before being replaced by Doug Carr (Hanover, Mass.) early in the second. Each goaltender allowed four goals, combining to stop 27-of-35 shots on net. Minnesota State's Austin Lee (Bloomington, Minn.) made 23 saves to improve to 1-0-2.
Looking to put the loss behind them, the River Hawks will get another crack at the Mavericks tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. in the Tsongas Center.