LOWELL, Mass. — Despite a convincing win, UMass-Lowell Coach Blaise MacDonald still found something wrong with his team. “Look at that brown belt with those pants,” quipped MacDonald about goalie Cam McCormack’s wardrobe after the game.
That was the only negative MacDonald could find, as six different goal scorers contributed to a 6-0 victory over Connecticut this afternoon at Tsongas Arena.
“It’s nice to see a lot of guys get fulfillment for their hard work,” said MacDonald about the diversity of goal scorers. “We are scoring goals in a lot of different ways.”
Lowell scored four goals in a 2:51 span late in the second period to help take control of the game. UConn (0-1-1) struggled to keep up with the size and speed of Lowell.
Lowell has now outscored its opponents 20-5 over their first three games en route to a 3-0 record. MacDonald is also the first Lowell coach to start his career by winning his first three career games.
“As coaches, we focus on our defense,” MacDonald said after being asked about the offensive output.
Lowell held the territorial advantage for the entire game. They dominated UConn in every area of the game but were frustrated by freshman goalie Paul Morrissey, who was making his collegiate debut. Morrissey, from nearby Winchester, Mass., made 29 saves over the first two periods before being pulled to start the third.
“Paul had a tremendous game,” said UConn coach Bruce Marshall. “Lowell has four lines which are all strong.”
Lowell opened the scoring midway through the first period. Peter Hay led an odd-man rush and wristed a shot over Morrissey’s shoulder at the 10:04 mark of the first period for the early lead.
Lowell kept the play in their offensive end for the majority of the first period, and outshot UConn 15-6 in the period.
Lowell came out of the intermission and kept up the pressure, but Morrissey was solid between the pipes and welcomed the intensity of Lowell.
“They took it to us,” said Morrissey, “I like to see a lot of shots to get into the game.”
The game was broken open with less than four minutes to play in the second period. Lowell took advantage of a delayed penalty as Jerramie Domish fed the streaking extra skater Anders Strome. His initial shot was stopped, but he was able to score off of his own rebound. That seemed to be the goal that got the River Hawks going.
Ed McGrane tipped home a Baptiste Amar wrist shot from the blue line to increase the lead to three goals 58 seconds later.
Tom Rouleau continued the onslaught 50 seconds later. Morrissey stopped the initial shot but it hit off the back of his leg and ended up in the net.
Steve Sonia capped the four-goal outburst by taking a fed from McGrane and slipping the puck between the legs of Morrissey. That was the knockout blow for the Huskies.
Lowell goalie Cam McCormack wasn’t tested with a lot of shots but had to make several key saves including a 2-on-1 stop in the second period that helped change the game. He ended the game with 15 saves.
“This was definitely important for the team and their morale,” said McCormack after pitching the shutout. “The saves in the second period were key in getting the momentum.”
Connecticut was playing its first of a seven-game road trip, and were outshot badly, 43-15.
Daryl Green led the Lowell attack by dishing out three assists.
Lowell continues its Hockey East schedule next Friday night at home against the Providence Friars. UConn hits the road for a weekend series at Bemidji State.