AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass hockey team converted on both of its power play chances, but could not hold off 11th-ranked UMass Lowell as the Mass Attack's 10-game home unbeaten streak came to an end with a 4-2 loss to the River Hawks on Friday night at the Mullins Center. Following the setback the Minutemen are now 9-9-5 overall and 5-7-4 in Hockey East, while UMass Lowell improves to 15-6-0 (10-5-0 HEA).
Six UMass players tallied points in the contest, including sophomore Conor Allen who scored for a third straight game, his sixth of the season.
UMass took advantage of an early power play opportunity in the first period to go on top, 1-0. Steven Guzzo stole the puck in the slot and tapped it over to Michael Pereira who fed Branden Gracel inside the left faceoff circle. Gracel's wrister beat Doug Carr at 3:16, his fifth tally of the season.
After the Minutemen had successfully killed off three power plays in the frame, UMass Lowell struck for the equalizer with a man advantage late in the opening period. Derek Arnold centered the puck for Josh Holmstrom, who redirected it past netminder Steve Mastalerz at 18:56.
The River Hawks then took a 2-1 lead 7:37 into the second period. Joseph Pedenza skated into the UMass zone alone and scored after connecting with a blue line to blue line pass from Terrence Wallin. Stephen Buco picked up an assist, as well.
UMass Lowell then increased the margin to two 18:21 into the frame. Riley Wetmore's initial shot off a feed from David Vallorani was stopped by Mastalerz. However, the puck squirted free and Holmstrom stuffed in the rebound for his second of the night, giving the River Hawks a 3-1 edge heading into the third.
UMass closed the gap to 3-2 with its second man-advantage goal of the night at 6:27. Senior Michael Marcou sent a cross-ice pass to senior T.J. Syner who dished it over to Allen for the score.
Then in the final seconds, David Vallorani sealed the win for UMass Lowell, tucking in the puck at the doorstep at 19:34 from Wetmore and Wallin.
Mastalerz finished with 30 saves for the Mass Attack and is now 3-2-0 on the season, while Carr (14-4-0) stopped 34 for the River Hawks. UMass finished with a 36-34 edge in shots and won 34 of 72 faceoffs.
Both teams will be back in action tomorrow night, Saturday, Jan. 28, playing the final of the three-game season series between the squads in Lowell at 7 p.m.