LOWELL, Mass. — Riley Wetmore netted the game winner early in the third period as the ninth ranked Massachusetts-Lowell River Hawks defeated the Princeton Tigers, 4-1, in a
non-conference game in front of 3,808 fans at Tsongas arena.
Wetmore scored his goal while on the power play to give the River Hawks a 2-1 lead. Wetmore stole the puck in the neutral zone, and snuck a shot between Michael Condons (23 saves) arm, and his body trickling over the goal line. The goal came at 4:18 into the third.
I was going down the wall and I saw a lot of guys going to the net hard, and the goalie kind of played like he was going to go there [in front of the net]. I just shot it short side, and it snuck under his armpit, said Wetmore.
Princeton got on the board first, when Dan Bartlett received a pass inside the offensive zone, he fired a shot over the right shoulder of goaltender Carter Hutton (29 saves).
After the opening goal by the Tigers, each team played a sluggish period. The River Hawks never really got any momentum going. Their best chance came on the power play when Scott Campbell made a pass right in front of the Tigers net to Paul Worthington, who was able to get his stick on it, but the shot went wide.
Lowell head coach Blais MacDonald doesnt have an explanation of why his team has been struggling in the first period as of late.
We talk about establishing our game, getting out of the gate early, really getting after it and for some reason we have a hard time establishing our game in the first period.
Lowell came out in the second with a lot more urgency, but the Tigers were able to fend them off with good shot blocking and goaltending.
MacDonald was impressed with the performance of the Tigers goaltender.
I thought their goaltender played really well. It was unfortunate for him that a couple slipped through.
Lowell tied the game at one, when Scott Campbell buried a loose puck that bounced to the far post at 12:41 of the second period. His goal was one of two on the power play.
Lowell gave Princeton five power play opportunities in the period, but they werent able to set up in the River Hawks zone and create chances for themselves.
The flow of the period was much faster than the first, but the chances were few and far between.
The River Hawks (10-5-1 overall, 5-4-1 in Hockey East) came out in the third, and buried any hope the Tigers may have had of coming back in the game.
Michael Budd gave the River Hawks a two goal lead by picking up the puck at his own blue line and carrying it down the left side, rifling a shot past Condon, at 10:27 of the third.
Paul Worthington wrapped the game up with a shorthanded empty net goal. It was his team leading eighth goal of the year to secure the win.
Princeton (3-8-1, 2-6-1) came into the game on a six game losing streak, and only had 16 players dressed due to injuries.
Tigers head coach Guy Gadowsky doesnt use the lack of players as an excuse to the teams struggles.
Any time youre a couple men down, I think you face challenges, but by no means does that mean you cant win a hockey game, said Gadowsky. I think right now we are struggling through it. Its a couple things, injuries maybe a factor, but were struggling putting the puck in the net, and maybe everybody is squeezing the sticks a little too tight.
These two teams meet again on Saturday for a matinee game starting at 4 p.m. at Tsongas arena.