UMass Lowell defenseman Sawchuk out for season after suffering broken vertebrae against Merrimack

Nolan Sawchuk has played 46 games over two seasons for UMass Lowell, registering five assists and 20 penalty minutes (photo: UMass Lowell Athletics).

According to the Lowell Sun, UMass Lowell sophomore defenseman Nolan Sawchuk sustained a broken vertebrae after getting hit from behind during a 6-4 victory over Merrimack on Jan. 18.

No penalty was called on the play.

River Hawks coach Norm Bazin confirmed to the paper Wednesday that Sawchuk will miss the remainder of the 2019-20 season.

“He’s one of our best defensive defensemen [and] we’ll miss him,” Bazin told the Sun. “We’re just so fortunate that it wasn’t more serious.

“We anticipate a full recovery, but it was a long Saturday night.”

Bazin is unsure of Sawchuk’s hockey future.