Lomberg’s late goal earns tie for Maine hockey team vs. UMass Lowell

Posted Jan. 17, 2014, at 9:50 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 17, 2014, at 11:14 p.m.

The University of Maine men’s hockey team failed to pick up its first road win of the season but the Black Bears rallied for a 1-1 overtime tie with UMass Lowell on sophomore right wing Ryan Lomberg’s goal with 1:24 remaining in regulation Friday night at the Tsongas Center.

The Black Bears pulled goalie Martin Ouellette in favor of the extra attacker with 1:48 remaining and Lomberg scored his third goal in two games 24 seconds later.

Maine’s Stu Higgins dug out the puck and passed it back to the point where Ben Hutton fired the puck through a maze of players that was kicked out by River Hawk goalie Connor Hellebuyck.

But Lomberg backhanded the rebound home.

“Stu did an amazing job outworking their guy in the corner and he got it back to Hutton,” said Lomberg. “The puck was bouncing but Hutton did a good job controlling it and he threw it on net. I tried to tip it but I missed it. The rebound came right out to me.

“(Hellebuyck) was with me most of the way but I took a stride with the puck to give myself a little more space and I got the shot up,” added Lomberg.

Sophomore right wing Adam Chapie’s goal with 2:49 left in the first period supplied the River Hawks with their 1-0 lead.

The River Hawks, ranked 10th in the country in the USCHO poll, are now 14-6-2 overall and 4-3-1 in Hockey East.

Maine, ranked 19th, is 11-7-3 and 5-2-2, respectively.

Maine is now 0-6-2 on the road and has scored just 11 goals.

The Black Bears will visit No. 4 Boston College at 7 p.m. Saturday while UMass Lowell will entertain Boston University.

Chapie’s eighth goal of the season was his first in seven games.

Maine had just cleared the puck out of the defensive zone but Chapie picked the puck up from freshman Joe Gambardella in the neutral zone and quickly broke down the right wing before beating Ouellette with a quick wrist shot from the top of the circle that hit the far post before nestling in the net.

“It was a nice shot, blocker-side,” said Ouellette. “I think I could have gotten a piece of it.”

Maine’s Eric Schurhamer and Devin Shore had shots hit the post in the first and third periods, respectively, and Hellebuyck made two game-saving stops off Andrew Cerretani in the final minute of regulation.

Each team had a power play in overtime.

Ouellette came up with a couple of terrific saves in the OT to preserve the tie.

“Marty played like he always plays. He made a couple of saves in overtime that no other goalie would have made,” said Lomberg.

Ouellette finished with 39 saves while Hellebuyck wound up with 28.

“I thought I played pretty well. I saw a lot of shots,” said Ouellette. “We’re happy we got a point but we aren’t satisfied because we didn’t get two and I thought we could have.”

Maine coach Red Gendron thought his team could have played better.

“We didn’t play our best game tonight,” said Gendron. “We got a great goaltending performance from Marty Ouellette. He made a number of good saves. The best thing I can say is that we hung in there, we had a chance to tie it and we did.”

UMass Lowell and Maine entered the game as the country’s No. 2 and No. 4 teams in defense and lived up to the billing.

UMass Lowell had surrendered just 1.95 goals per game while Maine had given up only 2.05.

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