Connecticut's Marcello Ranallo (Burnaby, B.C.) scored on a messy rebound play just 1:18 into overtime to upend UMass Lowell hockey, 3-2, on Tuesday night in Nashua, NH. Trailing by two goals early, the River Hawks pushed the game into extra time with late goals from Michael Budd (Burlington, Ont.) and Riley Wetmore (Swanton, Vt.).
UMass Lowell fell to the Huskies for the first time since 1976, dropping its record to 2-1-0 on the young season. Connecticut enjoyed a boost, improving to 2-1-1 with the late heroics.
The game played scoreless for the opening 12 minutes with each goaltender proving up to the challenge. The River Hawks blinked first as Miles Winter (Horsham, Penn.) found the back of the net at 12:46 into play. The Huskies won the faceoff, sending the puck back to Kevin Tuohy (Salisbury Mills, N.Y.). Tuohy dished to Winter in the slot, who turned and fired before goaltender Brian Robbins (Scotrun, Penn.) could recover.
After the intermission, Connecticut scored again at 3:59 into the second. Cole Schneider (Williamsville, N.Y.) banged a shot from the right side of the net and had it redirected weak-side for the opportunistic Brant Harris' (Estevan, Sask.) fifth goal of the season.
Near the midpoint of the second period, the River Hawks began to click and were aided by a penalty call on Winter at 8:02. Malcolm Lyles (Miami Gardens, Fla.) ripped a shot from the point that was saved by Garrett Bartus (St. Charles, Ill.). Bartus directed the rebound to the side, but Budd was there for the put-back at 9:44 for his first goal of the year.
The deficit was completely erased early in the third period as Wetmore collected his third goal of the season at 3:55. Defenseman Tim Corcoran (Milton, Mass.) let loose a shot at the point and it reached a string of bodies in front of the net. Derek Arnold (Foxboro, Mass.) took a swipe, but the puck landed on the stick of Wetmore who smacked it into the mesh.
With just about four minutes remaining in regulation, UMass Lowell nearly captured the lead on a long distance shot by Zack Kamrass (Atlanta, Ga.) that rung off of the far post.
The teams eventually played to draw, pushing the game into overtime. The River Hawks rendered two shots in the extra frame, but the Huskies made the most of their first chance to score. Jordan Sims' (Fort Wayne, Ind.) shot acted like a pinball, hitting various bodies, including the goalie, until Ranallo flicked the loose puck over the shoulder of Robbins for the game-winning goal.
Robbins looked strong despite the decision, making 18 saves while dropping to 1-1-0 in his second career start. Connecticut's Bartus was up to the task, stopping 39-of-41 shots to earn his second win of the season.
The River Hawks finished the night 1-for-5 on the power play, while the Huskies converted one of their four chances.
UMass Lowell now has an extended break until it hosts Boston College in the Tsongas Center on Friday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.