College Hockey: Wildcats fall to Lowell
The University of Massachusetts Lowell ended New Hampshire's season last March.
The River Hawks messed up UNH's start to the Hockey East portion of its 2013-14 schedule on Friday night, too.
Lowell pulled away with a pair of goals in a span of 23 seconds just past the midway point of the third period and went on to a 5-3 win over the Wildcats at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass.
No. 15-ranked Lowell improved to 4-3-0 overall in the league opener for both teams.
UNH lost its third straight game and fell to 1-4-0.
Ryan McGrath beat UNH goalie Casey DeSmith, the junior from Rochester, on a breakaway with 8:08 left in the third period to give his team a 4-2 lead.
Scott Wilson scored 23 seconds later for 5-2.
UNH senior forward Nick Sorkin scored the game's final goal with 19 seconds to play.
DeSmith finished wth 22 saves and sophomore Connor Hellebuyck had 34 for Lowell.
Lowell closed UNH's season last year in Manchester. Hellebuyck tossed a 28-save shutout and the River Hawks beat UNH, 2-0, in the NCAA Northeast Regional championship game at the Verizon Wireless Arena and advanced to the Frozen Four for the first time.
The teams go back it — and finish the regular season series between them — at the Whittemore Center in Durham Saturday night at 7.
Hockey East has expanded to 11 teams with the addition of Notre Dame this season and teams are only playing each other twice. In the past, they have played three times.
The Wildcats struck first on defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk's first goal of the season 6:06 into the game. Dalton Speelman had an assist on the play.
Lowell answered quickly with a Josh Hallstrom power play goal at 8:25 with UNH's Kevin Goumas serving a penalty for interference.
The River Hawks made it 2-1 less than three minutes later on an Adam Chapie goal.
Lowell upped its lead to 3-1 on a Jake Suter goal 8:15 into the second period.
Goumas scored on the power play with 2:38 left in the second period to cut the lead to 3-2. Matt Willows and Eric Knodel had assists.
The goal put Goumas at 99 points for his career. He has 28 goals and 71 assists in 111 career games.
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UNH won all three regular season games games against the River Hawks last year. The Wildcats beat Lowell 5-2 in Durham and 3-0 and 5-2 in Lowell. The series wrapped up last year on Dec. 1. . . . Lowell went on a nine-game win streak after the Dec. 1 loss to UNH and ended up winning its first Hockey East regular season championship and first league tournament title, too.