Three takeaways from UMass-Lowell’s 5-1 victory over Notre Dame

BOSTON - Despite one hiccup by Tyler Wall at the beginning of Friday evening’s Hockey East semifinal between UMass Lowell and Notre Dame, the River Hawks dominated the game from start to finish, securing a berth in the Hockey East final. Here are three takeaways from Lowell’s 5-1 victory.

1. Going into Friday’s game, the matchup to watch appeared to be the UMass-Lowell attack vs. Cal Petersen, a Hockey East first-team goaltender. Lowell got the better of the matchup, putting in five goals in the course of a masterful effort in the offensive zone. The Lowell offense was generated not in grade-A areas, but from above the circles. Save for Michael Kapla’s second-period goal, Lowell’s converted chances that were generated in the offensive zone came from either the high slot or above the circles, finding traffic in front. While the River Hawks got some looks in grade-A areas, Lowell’s best chances came from getting pucks to the net in space.

2. There is really no other way to describe Notre Dame’s performance other than bad. The Irish spent most of the first period either pinned in their zone or chasing the puck in the offensive zone. With a whole period of potential offense lost, by the time the Irish got their footing, they were playing catch-up against a very dangerous scoring attack and a difficult goalie to score on.  ”The goal we scored was a gift,” Notre Dame coach Jeff Jackson said. “We had a lot of uncharacteristic things, we turned pucks over in our end, we turned pucks over in the offensive end too that led to goals.”

3. If anyone had any doubt ever about the staying power of the rise of the River Hawks in Hockey East tournament play, Friday evening’s game should put that to rest. With the win, the River Hawks will play in their fifth consecutive Hockey East tournament final. With year-after-year of competitive teams coming out of the Tsongas Center, the River Hawks have earned their place amongst the league’s giants. “I think the guys like playing here, there’s no question about it,” UML coach Norm Bazin said. “It’s an exciting time of year to be playing hockey. It shows stability, it shows a consistency in the program, and it shows accountability, and the guys are itching to come back this year.”


    • WOOO! Except for the 30 seconds after the crazy fluke goal before Lowell tied it up Notre Dame was never in this game. Irish eyes are crying, don’t let the door hit you in the *ss on the way out of HockeyEast!

          • UML may be ND’s daddy, but ND’s record vs. the rest of the league is 44-18-13.

            When a fan bashes a (non-rival) team they have owned, there must be some other explanation.

          • They were a rival up until about 7:30 last night.
            ND came to HEA, won exactly nothing, discovered fairly quickly that this isn’t the CCHA and it’s much tougher sledding, and while I’ll give you that your travel is a bit tougher than the rest of the league for conference games, I still think the reason Jackson wanted to leave is a better opportunity to win a league championship.

          • As Lowell fans know, sometimes you need to be in a conference for a long time before winning a title. ND was in the league for 4 years; our conference record (46-27-15) and record vs. the top non-Lowell teams (BC: 6-5; BU: 6-2-1; PC: 5-3-2) speaks for itself.

            Leaving HE has nothing to do with winning a conference championship; it has to do with geographic proximity and with playing other brand-name schools that people in SB recognize (most people outside of New England have never heard of HE schools other than UConn and BC).

          • You keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better. You can’t beat UML and that is a fact. At some point the road to HEA success goes through Lowell. Just hope you don’t meet them in the tournament. Go ask the NCHC boys if they heard of HEA schools. Answer will be yes. You’re just being obtuse to serve your argument.

          • Conference titles continue to become more and more meaningless. Outside of diehard college hockey fans and UML alums no one has even heard of your team or school. You brag like you have the NCAA cred of BC, BU, North Dakota or Michigan when you actually have about what Notre Dame has, a couple of nice runs to the NCAAs. You can proclaim all you want about how UML owned ND (and we’re actually educated enough and smart enough to already KNOW that) but the fact is your school is irrelevant in every national context. I welcome the trash talk from BC, because we actually have a rivalry with them and they have a history in this sport worth emulating. But when Norm Bazin leaves UML you guys won’t even be big dogs in your own small backyard anymore.

          • Look at the big brain on Brett! I’m impressed, you go to a school run by child molesters. Congratulations! 9-2-2. That all that has to be said. Good riddance.

          • I’m telling myself simple facts, nothing meant to make me “feel better.” UML has owned ND, I don’t deny what is obvious. But don’t overstate your case: nobody else in mighty Hockey East has “owned” ND. We certainly aren’t leaving because we fear the competition, as you suggested.

            And I’m not talking about die-hard hockey fans not knowing the member schools. I’m talking about normal people who go to college hockey games. None of them have heard of most Hockey East schools. Leave New England and go ask them…

          • First off, I grew up in W. PA, and of the schools that were in existence then, I knew most of them, so there’s that. I would also contend that ND fans are not college hockey fans, you know, if they don’t know who HEA schools are, they just like ND and their fancy helmets. Using your logic though, the average Joe at UML games must not know who Michigan Tech is, or Mercyhurst or RMU, it’s simply just not the case.

        • Who’s jealous? Lowell’s now 9-2-2 against them and many never liked them being in the league any way for a variety of reasons and none of them were jealousy. While we’ll miss the easy opposition they were for Lowell, we’re ultimately glad to see Fake Hockey East slink away.

          • Jealous of the fact that people in the rest of the country have heard of ND. In the end, though, ND is probably better suited to a league with big-time schools and elite sports programs *beyond* hockey.

            I wanted to stay in HE, but perhaps the divorce is for the best.

  1. Good riddance. Also, I’m disappointed that BC/BU got the late game because the Garden looks empty. My hats off to you, Bertagna, for showing you still don’t understand the new Hockey East.


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