The River Hawks rode a three-goal third period to a 3-1 victory over Vermont on Friday night in the Tsongas Center. Freshman Joseph Pendenza (Wilmington, Mass.) scored the game-winning short-handed goal in front of 3,733 fans.
UMass Lowell hockey improves to 2-5-2 on the season, snapping a four-game losing skid, and jumps to 2-5-0 in conference play. The Catamounts stumble to 0-3-2 on the campaign and 0-2-1 in Hockey East action.
Vermont jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first period, scoring a disjointed goal at 9:20 into play. As action moved into the River Hawk zone, Wahsontiio Stacey (Kahnawake, Que.) took a shot on goaltender Doug Carr (Hanover, Mass.). Carr lost his balance as he made the save and sent the rebound to Chris McCarthy (Collegeville, Pa.) for an easy put-back score.
After a silent second period, UMass Lowell erupted in the final frame, scoring three goals to roar to the win. The first score came from Riley Wetmore (Swanton, Vt.) at 2:48 into the third. Josh Holmstrom (Colorado Springs, Colo.) was position behind the net and dished to Wetmore alone in the slot. The sophomore buried the quick shot for his third goal of the season.
With the crowd still buzzing, Pendenza sent it into a frenzy at 3:52. While on the penalty kill, a blocked shot bounced into a neutral zone to a Vermont defender. Pendenza picked his pocket, flew into the Catamount zone and beat Rob Madore (Pittsburgh, Pa.) over the right leg pad for his fourth career goal.
The River Hawks pushed their lead to 3-1 with just over seven minutes remaining. David Vallorani (Hamilton, Ont.) took a shot that Madore seemingly saved, but the puck trickled slowly behind the goalie and into the net. The score was Vallorani's second of the season.
Carr was electric in goal after the first period, stopping 29-of-30 shots to improve to 2-2-1 on his freshman campaign. Carr held Vermont scoreless on all four power play opportunities. The Catamounts' Madore made 13 saves while allowing three third period goals on just six shots. The junior netminder falls to 0-3-2 with the result.
UMass Lowell will stay home tomorrow night, hosting New Hampshire at 7 p.m. in the Tsongas Center. Vermont will continue with its road trip, stopping at Providence for a 7 p.m. tilt with the Friars.