LOWELL, Mass. - The UMass Lowell men's hockey team battled to a 1-1 tie against Maine on Friday night in front of 5,427 fans at the Tsongas Center in Hockey East action.
With 1:24 remaining in the third period, Maine tied the game on an extra attacker goal via a backhand shot by sophomore forward Ryan Lomberg to beat Connor Hellebuyck (Commerce, Mich.) high glove side for his seventh goal of the season. With 10 seconds left in regulation, Hellebuyck made a huge save on Stu Higgins to extend the game to the extra frame.
"When we played up there (Dec. 8) we had a few things that we struggled with. I thought we did a much better job of adjusting to those things tonight," said head coach Norm Bazin. " We kept the pressure in the offensive zone, which is a very good change from the first time we played them. I thought we had plenty of chances to capitalize and their goalie played well."
Junior forward Scott Wilson (Oakville, Ont.) had a great chance with 3:24 left in overtime, but Ouellette made the stop with his left pad. The River Hawks took a cross-checking penalty kill by Christian Folin with 3:09 left in overtime, but then Maine returned the favor with 1:56 left to play on a roughing penalty by Connor Leen.
UMass Lowell outshot Maine, 40-29 for the game, including a 6-1 shot advantage in the overtime frame. The River Hawks now own a 14-6-2 overall record and 4-3-1 mark in league play, while Maine is now 11-7-3 (5-2-2 HEA) with the tie.
Midway through the second period, Maine's Eric Schurhamer hit the post to give the Black Bears one of their better scoring chances on the evening.
Sophomore forward Adam Chapie (Oxford, Mich.) opened the scoring in the first period for UMass Lowell at the 17:11 mark with his eighth goal of the season. He collected the puck from a scrum just outside his offensive zone and skated towards the right circle and fired a wrist shot to beat Maine goalie Martin Ouellette high blocker side.
Hellebuyck made 28 saves in his 12th start of the season for the River Hawks. Ouellette recorded 39 stops in the tie for the Black Bears as the No. 1 Star of the Game.
The River Hawks return to action on Saturday, January 18 at home on Military Appreciation Night vs. Boston University. The game will be televised live by WBIN-TV from the Tsongas Center beginning at 7pm. Visit www.goriverhawks.com for ticket information.