LOWELL, Mass. – Senior forward Ryan McGrath (O’Fallon, Mo.) scored the game-winner with less than three minutes left in the contest to lead the UMass Lowell hockey team (2-0-0) to a 3-2 victory against Colorado College (0-3-0) on Friday evening at the Tsongas Center in front of 5,030 fans.
“I thought it was a very good hockey game,” said Head Coach Norm Bazin. “There were a lot of momentum shifts in the game and special teams played a big part. I thought both goaltenders were excellent tonight. It stayed a really tight hockey game right until the very end. It was entertaining for fans and there were chances at both ends”
UMass Lowell set a new Guinness World Record during the game tonight with 4,088 fans simultaneously cracking a blue glow stick right before the River Hawks took the ice for the second period.
The River Hawks came off the puck drop attacking, firing off 11 shots in the first four minutes of the game. However, the Tigers struck first, taking a 1-0 advantage when freshman Trevor Gooch slotted home his second goal of the season at 4:29.
UMass Lowell quickly tied the game 1-1, though, seizing their man-up opportunity, 8:20 in the first period. Junior forward Joe Gambardella (Staten Island, N.Y.) tallied his first goal of the season after backhanding a loose puck off the opposing goaltender’s pads following a shot from senior forward Adam Chapie (Oxford, Mich).
With just under one minute to play in the first, senior forward Ryan McGrath (O’Fallon, Mo.) looked to give his team the lead on a breakaway opportunity, but his chance was spoiled by goaltender Jacob Nehama, who came up big to make the save.
In the second period, the River Hawks capitalized on another Tigers’ penalty, grabbing the 2-1 lead on a goal by freshman forward Nick Master (Broomall, Pa.). Master’s grabbed a loose rebound off initial shots from Gambardella and sophomore defenseman Tyler Mueller (Regina, Sask.), who were both credited with the assists. The goal marked the first of Master’s career.
Colorado College got one back at 7:31 in the third period, knotting the game, 2-2. Senior forward Cody Bradley capitalized on a breakaway, beating goaltender Kevin Boyle (Manalapan, N.J.).
The game-winner came with just 2:44 left in regulation by McGrath, who took a shot from the blue line that found the top right of the net.
Boyle made 16 saves in the contest, improving to 2-0-0 so far this season.
UMass Lowell went 5-5 on the penalty kill tonight, improving to a perfect 10-10 overall on the season. The River Hawks also had a decisive edge in shots, 55-18.
Friday’s contest marked the 12th meeting between UMass Lowell and Colorado College in the sport of men’s ice hockey. The Tigers still own a 7-5-0 lead in the all-time series. The River Hawks are slated to host Colorado College for the finale of their two-game series tomorrow night, Saturday, October 17 at 7 p.m. at the Tsongas Center.