(#5)UMass-Lowell vs New Hampshire

Last night in Lowell UNH prevailed over UML in a back and forth contest. The River Hawks had the early lead on a Connor Wilson goal at 6:06. The 2nd period belonged to the Wildcats, who outshot (15-4) and outscored UML (2-0). Goals by Marcus Vela (9:53) and Frankie Cefalu (10:38) had UNH up 2-1 going into the 3rd period. A John Edwardh power play goal at 4:52 tied it. At 10:05 UNH took the lead again when Aza Nazarian scored. UML pulled Tyler Wall (25 saves) with 1:22 left. 4 seconds later Jake Kamrass tied it up for the River Hawks. Overtime looked inevitable when Shane Eiserman put the River Hawks to bed with :14 left in regulation when he poked a rebound past Wall. It was a big win for UNH, who are looking to make some noise in Coach Dick Umile’s final season. Both teams played well, but a steady Lowell defense looked shaky at times, giving up too many goals on easy rebounds.

Tonight it’s Durham’s turn to host. The Whittemore faithful are ready. The fish is in the building. UML looks to clean up their game. UNH looks to build on their momentum. If last night is an indication of things to come tonight should be another good one. UML starts Jake Kamrass, Nick Marin, and Nick Master up front with Tyler Meuller and Niklas Folin on D, backstopped by Tyler Wall. UNH counters with Jason Salvaggio, Michael McNicholas, and Charlie Kelleher on the draw and Anthony Wyse and Benton Maass on the blue line. Danny Tirone mans the crease.

UNH carried the early play. UML looked sloppy, especially in their defensive zone. The Wildcats were bringing the pressure on the forecheck too. The RIver Hawks woke up after the first tv time out. That surge of pressure led to a power play when UNH’s Frankie Cefalu was called for hooking at 10:36. UNH successfully killed that chance. Shortly after that penalty expired UML jumped out to the lead on a Kenny Hausinger goal off the face-off. Ryan Lohin won the draw back to Hausinger in the left dot slot and he snipped a goal over Tirone’s shoulder into the upper corner. UML carried the play for most of the remainder of the period. However UNH’s 4th line of Justin Fregona,  Cefalu, and Eric MacAdams were bringing the pressure every shift. Their pressure led to a tripping penalty on UML’s Matti Goransson with 1:22 left to play. UNH has some decent chances but Wall has been up to the task. He turned back all 8 shots he faced, while Tirone allowed 1 goal on 13 shots. UNH won the face-off battle 10-7, except for that costly one that led to Hausinger’s 1st goal of the season.

The 2nd period opened with UML killing off the remaining power play. Not long after that a UML turnover in the neutral zone led to UNH tying the game at 1:32 on a Liam Blackburn goal. A UNH defenseman jumped into the rush and took a drop pass down the right side of Wall, slid a pass for a one timer by Benton Maass and Blackburn poked home the rebound. A Lowell bench minor for too many men on the ice at 7:31 led to a New Hampshire power play. At 9:22 a shot from the right point by Anthony Wyse found its way past Wall to put UNH up 2-1. Shane Eiserman and Cameron Marks were credited with the assists.  The overall play was back and forth after this, each team had some good scoring opportunities. A hooking call on the Wildcats Eiserman at 16:04 put Lowell on the PP again. UNH’s PK units did a solid job of keeping the puck outside their box. The best chance of that run of play came at the end of the penalty as Jason Salvaggio stepped off the UNH bench at the UML blue line and took a clearing pass from a Wildcat defenseman. He was in on goal when a back checking Mattias Goransson was able to get a stick on the puck. He knocked right to Wall, who tied it up. UML had chances at the other end as the period wound down but Tirone was a wall, and Wyse, who was a beast all night was there to squash any rebound opportunities.

The 3rd period started off slowly. Each team had decent chances, but nothing came of it. Around the 15 minute mark a UNH flurry started off some fireworks. Tyler Wall flopped around his crease and made a few nice saves. UML’s Connor Wilson was called for roughing at 5:07. Just 10 seconds into that PP UML had a tremendous short handed bid as Ryan Lohin picked off a Wildcat pass and skated in on Tirone who made the save as a UNH backcheker Cameron Marks was called for tripping, setting up a 4 on 4. At Whittemore this favors a speedy UNH team, sure enough Aza Nazarian and Liam Blackburn were in on a 2 on 1 with Nazarian assisting on Blackburn’s 2nd goal of the game at 6:09. Some late chippiness ensued as this one progressed. Norm Bazin puller Wall around the 17 minute mark. Nazarian hit the post on a deep try from the neutral zone. Other than that UNH couldn’t put one in the empty net, and on the other end UML couldn’t solve Danny Tirone. UML’s Hausinger was called for roughing with 16.5 left and UNH’s Wyse was whistled for interference 19:57.

Overall UML outshot UNH 31 – 24, but UNH outworked UML all night. The Wildcats fourth line was the tone setter all game. Every time the River Hawks were taking the momentum, Justin Fregona, Frankie Cefalu, and Eric MacAdams were all over UML. The 3 stars were Anthony Wyse (3rd), Danny Tirone (2nd), and Liam Blackburn (1st). A strong case could be made for the 4th line getting the honorable mention. UNH was solid in all 3 zones tonight. UML struggled on defense again. Their offense was there but Tirone was solid.

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