Tough night at the top as No. 1 St. Cloud State, No. 2 UMass, No. 5 Quinnipiac all fall

AMHERST, MA - JANUARY 4: NCAA hockey at the Mullins Center on January 4, 2019 in Amherst, Massachusetts. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon) (Richard T Gagnon)
UMass Lowell’s Reid Stefanson used some fancy footwork to beat UMass netminder Matt Murray as the River Hawks upset the No. 2 Minutemen 2-1 (photo: Richard T. Gagnon).

UMass Lowell jumped out to a 2-0 lead and never trailed as the River Hawks upset No. 2 Massachusetts, 2-1, handing the Minutemen their first Hockey East and home loss of the season.

Reid Stefanson gave the River Hawks an early 1-0 lead on an unassisted tally at 7:50 of the first period. The two teams each put 10 shots on goal in the opening 20.

Senior Connor Wilson snapped home his fifth of the season just 2:52 into the second.

That’s all the scoring the River Hawks needed. Niko Hildenbrand pulled the hosts within a goal at 7:20 of the second, but the UMass Lowell defense and goaltender Chris Hernberg (33 saves) shut down the Minutemen for the remainder.

The win is Lowell’s first against a nationally-ranked team this season.

No. 14 Union 7, No. 1 St. Cloud State 2

Union knocked off the nation’s top-ranked team, St. Cloud State, with a commanding 7-2 victory in the opening game of the Three Rivers Classic in Pittsburgh.

The Dutchmen will face Brown, which defeated host Robert Morris  on Friday, in Saturday’s championship game.

Union jumped to a 3-0 lead and expanded that to 6-1 by the early stages of the third. Brandon Estes scored twice while Cole Maier posted four assists for the Dutchmen.

In goal, netminder Darion Hansen finished the game with 36 saves.

Colgate 5, No. 5 Quinnipiac 4 (OT)

After falling behind, 3-0, early in the first Colgate rallied to score five of the game’s final six games, including Jeff Stewart’s game-winner at 2:49 of overtime as the Red Raiders pulled off the road upset of No. 5 Quinnipiac, 5-4 in overtime.

Colgate trailed by two goals in the third period before Nick Austin scored at the 4:15 mark and Willie Brooke tied the game just 2:51 later.

After the tying goal, Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold pulled starter Keith Petruzzelli (17 saves) in favor of Andrew Shortridge. Shortridge stopped all seven shots he faced in regulation but allowed the game winner on Colgate’s only shot in overtime.

Michigan State 7, No. 7 Ohio State 7 (MSU scores in 3v3 OT)

Trailing 7-4 with less that five minutes remaining, host Michigan State exploded for three goals in a span of 3:48 to earn a 7-7 tie against No. 7 Ohio State.

Logan Lamdbin’s goal in 3-on-3 overtime gives Michigan State the extra point in the Big Ten standings.

In regulation, Taro Hirose scored twice and added an assist for Michigan State. Ohio State’s Gustaf Westland finished with two goals and an assist while Mason Jobst potted a goal and three assists for the Buckeyes.

Canisius 3, No. 13 North Dakota 1

Cameron Heath’s goal at 1:40 of the third broke a 1-1 tie as host Canisius upset No. 13 North Dakota, 3-1.

Canisius never trailed in the game jumping out to a 1-0 lead on David Parrotino’s first goal of the season in the first.

The Fighting Hawks knotted things late in the second on Mark Sendon’s goal.

But despite a 17-5 advantage in shot in the third for North Dakota, Heath and Grant Meyer tallied the only goals of the period giving Canisius the 3-1 victory.

No. 10 Providence 4, No. 16 Miami

Providence scored the game’s final three goals to rally to a 4-2 victory over Miami in the opener of a two-game series.

Saturday’s rematch is the USHCO Game of the Week.

Miami grabbed a 2-1 lead on goals by Ryan Siroky and Josh Melnick late in the first.

After Scott Conway tied the game in the middle frame, Matt Koopman’s goal with 11:14 remaining was the game winner. Vimal Sukumaran netted an insurance tally with 4:04 left.