LOWELL, Mass. — The No. 7 Massachusetts-Lowell River Hawks found little difficulty laying the hammer down on visiting American International 6-1 on Tuesday night in front of a modest crowd at the Tsongas Center.
It took just 15 seconds for the River Hawks to get on the scoreboard and only a little over a minute to net the game-winner.
Junior defenseman Jake Suter set up the goal that broke the ice in the opening stanza.
After wasting little time getting the puck into the Yellow Jackets’ zone, Ryan McGrath got the puck back to Suter at the blue line. Suter then lofted a hard wrist shot on net that McGrath deflected past a screened Ty Reichenbach for the 1-0 lead.
“Our forwards did a great job taking away the goalie’s eyes up front,” said Suter. “I don’t think [Reichenbach] saw it and it just kind of found its way in.”
Just 49 seconds later, A.J. White doubled the lead with what would end up being the game-winner. After some sustained pressure in the AIC end, White corralled the puck in the slot, bobbling it slightly before firing a shot over Reichenbach’s shoulder and into the mesh.
“I got kind of lucky that I got the puck right there in the slot,” said White. “I saw [Adam] Chapie right in front of the net, but I kind of bobbled it so I just threw in at the net and got lucky.”
The goal was White’s first tally of the season.
Terrence Wallin capped off Lowell’s three-goal first period when he jammed in a rebound off the post for his first goal of the campaign.
Following a rocky first stanza, AIC coach Gary Wright opted to switch out Reichenbach for Hunter Leisner in net, but the move did little to help the Yellow Jackets’ cause.
“I just thought tonight that Ty wasn’t quite as sharp as he could be,” said Wright. “We just felt we had to make the change and hopefully, stem the tide a little bit.”
Goals from Derek Arnold, Chris Maniccia and Chapie sealed the deal for Lowell.
Freshman forward Carson Grolla’s slap shot from the right circle accounted for AIC’s lone tally.
With the victory, the River Hawks improve to 11-4-0 on the year.
AIC falls to 3-8-0 overall.
“Obviously, [Lowell's] a very good team and you don’t want to be behind as quickly as we were,” said Wright. “But I thought after that, we really battled back. But generally, Lowell played very well and we had some areas of difficulty.”
Lowell goaltender Doug Carr turned away 20 of 21 shots sent his way for his fifth win of the season.