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College Hockey:
River Hawks Hold On

UMass-Lowell Downs Union, 3-2

— Senior Darryl Green scored a goal and an assist as Massachusetts-Lowell outlasted Union, 3-2, in front of 1,541 fans at Tsongas Arena on Friday in a non-league matchup.

The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for the River Hawks. All goals scored for UML on the evening came from defensemen.

“It was a gritty game for us. I really have a lot of respect for our opponent in a game like that,” said head coach Blaise MacDonald after the game. “Union’s intensity and execution got better as the game went on. They gave us everything we could handle, and then some in the third period.”

The River Hawks had a little help from the Skating Dutchmen in scoring the first two goals of the game. At 6:29 of the first period, Green fed the puck through the Union crease, and it was deflected into the net by senior defenseman Jason Kean. Within five minutes of the first score, UML scored again as senior Josh Reed’s dump-in deflected off a Dutchmen skate and into the net. The River Hawks took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission.

Union broke up freshman Dominic Smart’s clean sheet at 14:08 in the second period. ECAC Player of the Week Jordan Webb picked up his first goal on a two-on-one opportunity with help from linemate Nathan Gillies for a 2-1 UML lead.

The River Hawks built their lead back to two goals at 15:36 in the second. Senior Baptiste Amar took a rebound of a freshman Ben Walter shot and lifted it high over Dutchmen netminder Tim Roth from the slot for his first goal of the season, putting UML up 3-1 at the second break.

The Dutchmen made things interesting at 5:38 in the third with Webb’s second goal of the game off a rebound. Union pulled Roth with just over a minute remaining in hopes of tying the game, however the decision went to the River Hawks, 3-2.

Smart made his first start in net for UML, collecting his first collegiate win with an 18-save performance. Roth also made 18 saves in net for Union, allowing three goals.

“We start playing our best hockey when we’re down,” said Union head coach Kevin Sneddon. “The team has to learn that from the moment the puck drops that we have to play with a sense of urgency.

“The first goal was a deflection off one of our guys down low. The second goal came off the shin-pad of one of our defensemen. That’s a tough way to start a game.”

“The important thing is, we had enough guys working smart and working hard, and we got it done,” said MacDonald. “Dominic Smart was terrific in net for his first start.”

Next Friday, Lowell (4-3-0, 0-2-0 HEA) returns to league action with a weekend series against New Hampshire, while Union (2-2-2, 0-0-0 ECAC) hosts Holy Cross on Saturday night.

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