Courtesy Vermont Sports Information
LOWELL, MA. — C.J. Smith scored a pair of goals to lead sixth-ranked UMass Lowell past No. 19 Vermont 3-1 on Friday night at Tsongas Center to snap the Catamounts’ four-game unbeaten streak. UVM fell to 4-2-1 (1-1-0 HEA), while the River Hawks improved to 5-2-2 (1-0-0 HEA) in their league opener.
Vermont’s best chance of the first period came on a 3-on-2 rush as Brendan Bradley reeled in a feed from Anthony Petruzzelli, but rookie Tyler Wall (25 saves) came out to cut down the angle and blocked Bradley’s heavy wrist shot out of play. UVM closed the opening 20 minutes with a 10-6 edge in shots on goal.
UMass Lowell came out strong in the second and took the lead on the power play at the 8:47 mark. Ryan Lohin slid a pass across the circles for a Dylan Zink one-timer, and Jake Kamrass was camped out at the top of the crease to tip it home. The play was reviewed for potential goalie interference, but the call on the ice stood.
The River Hawks doubled the lead with just 1:35 left in the period as John Edwardh dropped a pass into the slot for Joe Gambardella on a 3-on-3 rush. Gambardella faked a shot in the left circle and went back door for Smith, who finished into an open net for his sixth of the year.
UVM drew a goal back on the power play at 12:56 of the third on Mario Puskarich‘s first tally of the season. Matt O’Donnell‘s right point shot was deflected into the low slot by Ross Colton, and Puskarich directed a low shot past Wall for his 90th career point. Vermont has scored a power play goal in all seven of its games this year.
Lowell had a quick response just over 30 seconds later as Smith stepped into a slap shot and fired the puck into the upper half of the net through traffic.
Vermont pulled Stefanos Lekkas (21 saves) with two minutes to play, but Wall made a back door pad save on Colton to preserve the UMass Lowell win.
The Catamounts and River Hawks face off again on Saturday (Nov. 5) at 7 p.m. to complete the weekend series at Tsongas Center. Live pay-per-view video is available at GoRiverHawks.TV, and pre-game radio coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on WVMT 620-AM with Alastair Ingram on the call.