LOWELL, Mass. — Black Bears captain Tanner House led by example tallying for two goals as the University of Maine captured an upset 3-1 win over third ranked University of Massachusetts-Lowell in front of 4,752 at Tsongas arena.
It was a good step for us, said Maine head coach Tim Whitehead. We have been making some progress, and not always getting the results, it was important to play well and get the result.
The first period was a period of ebbs and flows. Maine would play well, and then Lowell would come down the ice have their chance.
The best opportunity for the Black Bears came early in the period when defensemen Will ONeill shot the puck along the ice and his team mate Theo Anderson got a piece of it, hitting net minder Hamilton in the left shoulder.
During the power play for the River Hawks, Ben Holmstrom shot the puck from the left faceoff hitting Darlings chest causing him to drop the puck and fall back into the post knocking the net off.
Both teams came out for the second period full steam ahead. The River Hawks struck first 58 seconds in when the puck was loose in the goal mouth and Cory Falite was there to knock it in past a Darling, who was sprawled on the ice.
The Black Bears tied it up at 7:37 when their leader, Tanner House, turned around and shot the puck from the right faceoff circle, it hit a Lowell defenseman, and redirected up and over goaltender Nevin Hamilton.
I grabbed it and spun it and threw it on net, said House. I think it might of deflected off their [Lowell defensemen] and went top corner.
In the last minute of play River Hawk winger Joe Caveney was whistled for a tripping penalty putting the Black Bears on the power play.
Maines forward Spencer Abbott was playing the point and he made a slap pass down to Adam
Shemansky, who was posted on the left side of the net, made a great tip into an open goal giving the Black Bears a 2-1 lead.
The third period was summed up by great team defense and the play of goaltender Darling to keep the River Hawks off the score sheet.
Whitehead was pleased with the way his team played defense in the third period.
We just played good team defense, said Whitehead. Nothing special, other than focusing on keeping them to the outside, and trying to defend.
Darling made two good saves in the third; one came off a shot in front that hit him in the chest, and the other save came on a backhand that was headed toward his five-hole.
Darling ended the game stopping 26 of 27 shots to improve his record to 5-3-1 overall.
Lowell head coach Blais MacDonald did not think his team played a stellar game tonight.
Maine definitely got they deserved and we absolutely got we deserved, said MacDonald. I thought Maine outplayed us in the first two periods and did a great job salting the win tonight.
Lowell has now lost two in row, dropping to 8-4-1 overall, 4-3-1 in Hockey East. Maine is 5-7-1 overall and 4-4-1 in conference play.