by Patrick Cavanaugh
(WORCESTER)–The Boston College Eagles may have comfortably found their way into the NCAA New England Regional Championship after a 6-2 victory, but the UMass Lowell Riverhawks had to fight tooth and nail to get the 2-1 victory over the Minnesota State Mavericks on Saturday night at the DCU Center.
Joe Pendenza was first to score for UML. The senior forward scored what turned out to be the lone goal for most of the game when he took advantage of a turnover at the blue line when his team was short-handed. All alone, Pendenza skated in and poked the puck between the pads of Minnesota State goaltender Cole Huggins (33 saves).
The score gives a clear image of who won the game, but does not give the story of how hard both teams fought to skate with each other or describe the clinic that both goaltenders put on during the contest. The Riverhawks capitalized on an opportunity early on and after that, all credit goes to Connor Hellebuyck (35 saves) and the incredible luck that UMass Lowell had.
Throughout the entire game, both teams had their fair share of scoring opportunities and rebound shots in front of the net. The only other goals in the contest both came with less than a minute to play in the game. Zack Kamrass scored an empty-net goal for Lowell with forty seconds left on the clock, but Zack Stepan answers with a power-play goal for the Mavericks. In the end, its the Mavericks who come up short and UMass Lowell is going to the New England Regional Championship.
With the victory, the Riverhawks will take on state-rival Boston College at 5PM tomorrow night at the DCU Center in Worcester.
Be sure to follow Patrick Cavanaugh on Twitter (@pcava12) for updates from the 2014 NCAA Northeast Mens Ice Hockey Regional.