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Freshman Elias Godoy scored his second goal of the season to break a 2-2 tie at 4:30 and lift Mass.-Lowell over St. Lawrence 3-2 at Tsongas Arena.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak for UML, while St. Lawrence has dropped the past seven contests.
“We’ve certainly played a lot of games this season that were better than tonight, but we have come up on the wrong side of the ledger,” said head
coach Blaise MacDonald. “Tonight we didn’t play our best, but we managed to get a win.”
The Saints held an early 5-2 advantage on the shot chart, however it did not last as the River Hawks began to apply offensive pressure to netminder Mike McKenna. UML had multiple breakaways midway through the period, but were unable to find the back of the net.
Mass.-Lowell broke the scoreless tie at 14:10 with Mark Concannon’s second goal in as many games and third of the season. Jerramie Domish collected the puck from the UML zone and fed it to Concannon on the left side from neutral ice. Concannon skated in, and although McKenna made the initial save, he was not able to stop Concannon’s second shot that just made it past his pads low. The River Hawks took a 1-0 lead into the first break, out-shooting SLU 15-9.
The Saints looked to be in dire straights to start the second period. Jack O’Brien took a two-minute penalty and a ten-minute misconduct to end the first period. St. Lawrence was then assessed a two-minute penalty at the start of the second period, after the Saints returned to the ice with just six seconds remaining before the beginning of the second frame. UMass Lowell was unable to capitalize on the five-on-three opportunity, though.
The River Hawks increased their lead to two at 7:13 with the first career goal for sophomore Peter Tormey. The UML forwards cycled the puck from the right corner to the open Tormey on the left side of the ice, and Tormey made his shot count, beating McKenna for a 2-0 River Hawk lead.
Senior leadership was the answer to the deficit for St. Lawrence, as senior captain Blair Clarance tied the game with a pair of goals in just over a minute’s span.
A penalty to Peter Hay gave the Saints the opportunity they needed to get on the scoreboard. Jim Lorentz fired a shot from the right side that was saved by
freshman netminder Dominic Smart, however the rebound bounced to Clarance’s feet, and Clarance quickly stuffed it in the net, a power-play goal that cut the UML lead to 2-1 at 14:01.
St. Lawrence used traffic to get its second goal. O’Brien put an attempt on net that Smart was able to stop. Smart was unable to recover from the initial save, and with him down on the ice and confusion in front of the net, Clarance once again found himself in the position to score, putting away his second goal of the game at 15:10 and tying the game at two.
“It was definitely a momentum thing for us,” commented Clarance on his two goals. “We need to get up for these type of games, get a couple of goals and some big hits, and we start to sail along.”
Godoy’s goal changed the course of the game, as he took the puck from neutral ice and weaved around a SLU defender on the left side, lifting a shot just over the pads of McKenna for the game-winner at 4:30.
“It is kind of typical of what we have been through all season,” remarked head coach Joe Marsh after the game. “Lowell took it to us in the first part of the game. I thought the second half of the game was about as well as we have played in about a while. It’s disappointing to not get it done, I think the components were there, we just didn’t tie it together.”
Smart made 23 saves in net for the River Hawks, while McKenna stopped 33 attempts for SLU. The Saints went 1-for-3 with the man-advantage, while UML was 0-for-2 with the extra attacker.
“I thought Smart played very well,” said MacDonald. “He made some critical saves for us at big times. He was decisive and aggressive.”
Tomorrow UMass Lowell (5-8-0, 0-7-0 HE) will bring its 3-0 record against ECAC teams to the table when the River Hawks host Clarkson to close out 2002 at home, while the Saints (2-11-1, 1-4-0 ECAC) travel to New Hampshire.