LOWELL, Mass. - The No. 8 ranked UMass Lowell men's hockey team edged No. 15 Vermont in the decisive Game 3 Hockey East quarterfinal matchup Sunday afternoon at the Tsongas Center in front of a crowd of 2,513.
The No. 2 seed River Hawks advance to the Hockey East semifinals for the second consecutive season on Friday, March 21st vs. the No. 8 seeded University of Notre Dame. Game time is 5pm from the TD Garden in Boston. The game will be televised live on NBCSN and NESN.
"It was a close game, special teams was a big part of it. I want to compliment Vermont on a terrific regular-season and playoff. I thought they were a great opponent and they gave us everything we could handle," said UMass Lowell Head Coach Norm Bazin. "We are very thankful to come out on top and I thought this was our best game of the three in many different respects. We won the special teams battle, they did get a power play goal, but we got a shorty and a power play goal. I thought our penalty kill was good tonight, we had a lot of urgency on the penalty kill and some good shot blocks."
Sophomore goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (Commerce, Mich.) made 30 saves in his 15th win of the season, as the No. 1 star of the game. He made 11 saves in the opening period and 13 stops in the third period. Vermont's netminder Brody Hoffman made 17 saves in the losing effort for Vermont.
Sophomore forward A.J. White (Dearborn, Mich.) gave the River Hawks a 2-0 lead going into the dressing room at the end of the first period with a wrist shot from the low slot that beat Vermont goaltender Brody Hoffman high glove side. White's game-winning goal was his second of the season for the River Hawks. Senior forward Shayne Thompson (Stittsville, Ont.) and junior defenseman Jake Suter (Lac du Flambeau, Wis.) were credited with assists on the goal.
The Catamounts cut the River Hawks lead to 2-1 with 2:14 left in the second period on a power play goal by Jake Fallon on his sixth goal of the season for Vermont's lone goal of the contest.
Sophomore blueliner Christian Folin (Gothenburg, Sweden) got UMass Lowell on the scoreboard first with his fith goal of the year at 10:08 of the opening period on a slapshot from the right point that went through the net and back into play. The play was reviewed and the River Hawks were awarded the shorthanded goal.
Senior forward Joseph Pendenza (Wilmington, Mass.) has another stellar night in the faceoff circle going 17 for 24 (71%) for the River Hawks. Sophomore Michael Colantone (Cave Creek, Ariz.) and freshman Chris Maniccia (St. Catharines, Ont.) also won eight faceoffs apiece on the evening.