UMass Lowell erupted for three goals in a 1-minute, 22-second window late in the second period en route to a 3-1 victory over Princeton University Saturday afternoon in a non-conference hockey clash in front of 3,513 at the Tsongas Center.
The win was the second straight for the River Hawks, who improved to 4-5-1 overall entering this weekend's home-and-home against No. 3 New Hampshire. UMass Lowell visits the Wildcats Friday night at 7:30 and plays host Saturday at 7:05 at the Tsongas Center.
Princeton slipped to 3-4-1 and visits Rensselaer Friday at 7:00 and No. 8 Union Saturday at 4:00. Freshman G Connor Hellebuyck (Commerce, Mich.) stopped 22 shots in his second start and improved to 1-1.
UMass Lowell's goal flurry - each scored in transition - came after Princeton was denied by the post 9:27 into the second period and the crossbar at 11:51.
The River Hawks opened the scoring at 18:05 when sophomore F Terrence Wallin (Yardley, Pa.) poked checked at center ice to sophomore F Scott Wilson (Oakville, Ont.), creating a 2 on 1. Wilson dished to Wallin, who times his backhand nicely inside the left post by senior G Mike Condon.
Just 32 seconds later, freshman F Ryan McGrath (O'Fallon, Mo.) poke-checked free along with left board to junior F Derek Arnold (Foxboro, Mass.), who raced in on Condon with freshman F Michael Colantone (Cave Creek, Ariz.). Condon saved Arnold's attempt, but Colantone tucked in the rebound.
Junior F Joe Pendenza (Wilmington, Mass.) capped the scoring for the River Hawks 50 seconds later - his 50th career point - when Wilson passed to junior F Josh Holmstrom (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who broke in on Condon. Holmstrom got off a soft shot off the pads of Condon, but Pendenza took the rebound and roofed home for a 3-0 lead.
Hellebuyck proved his worth 11:37 into the third period when he stopped a 3 on 1 break for Princeton, kick-saving a shot by senior F Rob Kleebaum to his right.
The Tigers spoiled Hellebuyck's shutout bid 14:51 into the third period when senior F Will McDonald centered into the left slot for sophomore F Aaron Kesselman, who finished nicely.
UMass Lowell outshot the Tigers 36-23. Condon stopped 33 shots for Princeton.