UMass Lowell Rallies, Ups Unbeaten String to 11
LOWELL, Mass. – Freshman Christian Folin scored 3:07 into overtime to cap a run of four consecutive goals as No. 15 UMass Lowell defeated Northeastern 5-4 on Saturday night in a Hockey East clash in front of a school-record attendance 7,013 at the Tsongas Center.
With the win, UMass Lowell extended its unbeaten streak to 11 games. The River Hawks improved to 14-7-2 overall and 8-6-2 in Hockey East and moved into a share of fifth place with Friday’s opponent Merrimack (10-10-4, 8-6-3), which suffered a 6-2 loss at New Hampshire. Northeastern slipped to 7-12-3 overall and 4-10-3 in Hockey East.
Folin’s goal capped a furious rally that saw the River Hawks battle back from a 4-1 deficit in the third period. Junior Joe Pendenza won the puck in the right corner and passed to sophomore Jake Suter at the right point. Suter crossed to Folin at the left point, whose slapshot beat Northeastern goalie Bryan Mountain on the nearside and sent the Tsongas Center into raptures.
Northeastern took a 4-1 lead 48 seconds into the third period when senior Steve Morra backhanded past junior Doug Carr.
Pendenza, who had one goal and three assists, gave UMass Lowell a lifeline 8:53 into the third period when freshman A.J. White drove down the left side and fed Pendenza to his right, who wristed home to cut the lead in half.
Junior Derek Arnold provided the highlight reel of the night when he took a drop-off from Carr, drove the length of the ice and weaved to the right side before rifling past Mountain to bring the River Hawks to within one.
With 56 seconds left in regulation and an empty net, senior Riley Wetmore emerged from a scramble and, with help from Pendenza and junior Joe Houk, scored the tying goal.
Northeastern attacked the net from the onset and scored its first three goals off rebounds.
At 11:15 into the first period, freshman Ryan Belonger pounced on a rebounded shot from junior Zak Stone. Fifty-six seconds into the second period, junior Braden Pimm put back the rebound off a shot by senior Vinny Saponari, and senior Garrett Vermeersch scored on a similar play at 10:58.
UMass Lowell outshot the Huskies 38-17 as Carr stopped 13 shots to improve to 8-6-1 while Mountain had 33 saves.
UMass Lowell’s attempt to break its own consecutive wins record of nine fell by the wayside in a 4-4 tie against Northeastern on Friday, ending the longest current streak in Division I. But the River Hawks kept its unbeaten string intact by rallying for two third-period goals. UMass Lowell’s DI record for consecutive games unbeaten is 14, when it went 11-0-3 during a stretch in the 2004-05 season.