HARTFORD, Conn. - UConn freshman Ruslan Iskhakov (Moscow, Russia) scored his second goal of the season early in the first period but UMass Lowell put four-straight on the board on their way to a 5-2 Hockey East win Friday night. The Huskies and River Hawks will close out their weekend series on Saturday in Lowell.
The Huskies see their record even at 5-5-1 overall and fall to 2-4-1 in Hockey East with the loss. The River Hawks are also 5-5-1 overall and are now 2-3-1 in the league.
UConn fired a season-high 40 shots on goal Friday night but UML junior Tyler Wall turned away 38 to keep the Huskies in check. UConn also came up empty on four power play chances while UMass Lowell was 1-for-4.
The River Hawks got two goals from senior Ryan Dmowski including the game-winner. After trailing 1-0 early on, UML put two on the board in both the first and second periods to grab control of the game. Sophomore Connor Sodergren dished out three assists while junior Kenny Hausinger and sophomore Charlie Levesque had two assists each.
UConn senior Karl El-Mir (Montreal, Quebec) scored shorthanded for the Huskies to pull UConn within 4-2 in the third period. Junior Adam Huska (Zvolen, Slovakia) stopped 27 shots in the loss.
The Huskies took an early lead as Iskhakov scored his second of the season at 4:28. The River Hawks were breaking out of the zone but Wyatt Newpower (White Bear Lake, Minn.) broke up a pass and junior Alexander Payusov (Montreal, Quebec) knocked the puck away from a trailing UML defenseman leaving a loose puck for Iskhakov. The rookie scooped it up and skated in one-on-one with Wall, beating the goaltender with a pretty move for a 1-0 lead.
The River Hawks pulled the game even at 8:05 as Dmowski redirected a pass from Levesque in the right circle to the top-left corner, his third of the season. UMass Lowell got a power play chance late in the period as Roman Kinal (Waterford, Mich.) was called for interference at 17:31. UML Freshman Lucas Condotta made it 2-1 at 19:04, picking up a loose puck deep in the UConn zone, spinning into the slot and beating Huska with a wrist shot, stick side, top-shelf, his third of the season.
The River Hawks took control in the second and needed just 14 seconds to score their first of two in the period. Levesque circled the net and fired on Huska who made the save. The rebound found Dmowski in the slot area who back-handed home a shot for his second of the game and a 3-1 lead.
UML went up 4-1 at the 5:45 mark as junior Ryan Lohin put home a rebound as well. Hausinger carried the puck behind the net, feeding Lohin in front. Huska made the initial save but the junior banged in his own rebound for his fifth on the season.
The Huskies were able to cut the lead to 4-2 just 2:28 into the third thanks to a great hustle play by El-Mir. Down a man on the penalty kill, the Huskies looked to clear the puck from mid ice. Wall looked to cover up the puck but El-Mir charged hard on the play and was able to tap in the puck when the goaltender misplayed it right in the crease, his sixth goal of the season and the Huskies' fourth shorthanded this year.
UConn looked like they pulled within 4-3 at 14:32 as Iskhakov put one past Wall but was waved off for a too many men on the ice call. The Huskies pulled Huska with 2:42 left for the extra attacker but the River Hawks put the icing on the win as senior Nick Master put in an empty net goal at 17:36 for the 5-2 win.
UConn and UMass Lowell close out their weekend series tomorrow night from the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Massachusetts. Opening face-off is at 5 pm.