HAMDEN, Conn. - Twenty-two blocked shots by the Quinnipiac University (3-1-0, 0-0-0 ECAC) defense helped lead the Bobcats to a 3-1 win over the visiting UMass Lowell River Hawks' (1-3-0,0-0-0 Hockey East) at the High Point Solutions Arena tonight. It was the Bobcats' second consecutive win over the River Hawks.
Playing in the back-end of a home-and-home series, the River Hawks and Bobcats squared off in Hamden, Conn. in a rematch of last night's Lowell-based contest. After falling to Quinnipiac last night, 3-1, the River Hawks were looking to get back in the win column.
"I thought we played a good hockey game tonight," River Hawks Head Coach Norm Bazin said. "There are certainly some areas we need to improve upon, but I was more pleased with our effort than I have been all year. If we continue with that same kind of effort, we're going to win more games than we lose."
Quinnipiac's defense thwarted the UMass Lowell forwards all night, blocking 22 shots.
"It's a credit to them, they played two really good hockey games this weekend," Bazin said. "Their ability to block shots was the difference tonight. From my standpoint, there were a lot of pucks directed to the net but not enough of them got through."
The River Hawks started the game well, cracking the scoreboard first as Ryan McGrath (O'Fallon, Mo.) got one past Quinnipiac's Michael Garteig at 5:49 of the first period. Jake Suter (Lac du Flambeau, Wisc.) picked up the assist. UMass Lowell's momentum was short-lived, however, as the Bobcats struck back less than two minutes. The Jones twins combined for the Bobcats' first tally with Connor picking up the goal with an assist to brother Kellen and Derek Smith. Kellen Jones got his turn on the scoreboard, with an unassisted short-handed goal at 11:37 of the second. Jordan Samuels-Thomas picked up where he left off Friday night with a power play goal at 16:09 of the second period. It would prove to be all the Bobcats would need as the upped their early season record to 3-1-0.
UMass Lowell's special teams' struggles continued tonight as the team went 0-5 on the power play while the Bobcats were 1-6 and added a short-handed goal. River Hawks goaltender Doug Carr (Hanover, Wisc.) in his second start of the season took the loss, allowing 3 goals on 28 shots to even his record at 1-1-0 on the young season. His Quinnipiac counterpart Michael Garteig took home the win with 23 saves.
Quinnipiac will host Bentley on home Tuesday while the River Hawks will travel to Michigan next weekend for their next action. UMass Lowell takes on Michigan State Friday in Lansing before heading to nearby Ann Arbor to face the University of Michigan Saturday. River Hawks fans can listen to both games on the ESPN River Hawk Radio Network ESPN 900 (flagship station), ESPN 1250 AM, WSMN 1590 AM, WCAP 980 AM,and the ESPN Radio smartphone app.