Junior goalie Tyler Wall made 38 saves and freshman left wing Matt Brown broke a 2-2 tie 4:19 into the third period as the University of Massachusetts at Lowell’s River Hawks edged the University of Maine 3-2 at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Massachusetts, to run their unbeaten streak to seven games.
The teams battled to a 1-1 overtime tie on Friday night so UMass Lowell earned three out of a possible four points.
UMass Lowell, 4-0-3 in its last seven games, improved to 7-2-3 overall and 4-0-2 in Hockey East. UMaine had its four-game unbeaten streak (2-0-2) snapped and is now 5-3-2 and 2-2-2, respectively.
Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup fired home a J.D. Greenway rebound to stake UMaine to a 1-0 lead in the first period in which UMaine outshot Lowell 15-7. It was his sixth goal of the season.
UMass Lowell scored a pair of goals 4:37 apart early in the second period to take a 2-1 lead as Carl Berglund was set up for his sixth by Brown and Chase Blackmun before Anthony Baxter collected his first of the season with a shot from the midpoint after UMaine goalie Jeremy Swayman had made an initial save.
UMaine right wing and captain Mitch Fossier tied it 2:47 into the third period when he beat Wall with a shot off a Tim Doherty pass for his second goal and second in as many games.
But Brown answered just 1:32 later as he came out from behind the net and roofed the puck over Swayman’s shoulder for his fourth.
“It was a great shot,” said UMaine coach Red Gendron, whose Black Bears outshot Lowell 40-30.
“We played a really strong hockey game but not well enough to win,” Gendron said. “We carried the play most of the night. They took advantage of a couple of situations. And their goalie played really well.”
It was Wall’s fifth consecutive game with at least 30 saves.
“We deserved a better result,” Fossier said. “We did a lot of good stuff but we didn’t do enough to earn the win. Sometimes you get the bounces, sometimes you don’t. If we had been able to capitalize on a couple more chances in the first period, the game would have gone a different way. Their goalie came up with a bunch of big saves each night but so did [Swayman]. They are both tremendous goalies.
“We’re playing consistently well and if we continue to do that night in and night out, we’ll have a lot more wins than losses,” Fossier added.
“It almost playoff style hockey,” UMass Lowell head coach Norm Bazin said. “You are very happy when you pick up points in Hockey East against a tough opponent, it was a hard fought battle. I am very proud of the guys. They showed some resiliency tonight since we didn’t start the way we wanted. We got better as the game wore on.”
“We have more work to do. We have to keep getting better,” Gendron said. “We will learn from this.”
Swayman finished with 27 saves.
UMaine went 0-for-4 on the power play, while the River Hawks were 0-for-2.
UMaine will return home next weekend to take on arch-rival New Hampshire. Game times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday.
UMass Lowell, the only team in Hockey East without a league loss, will play a home-and-home series against the University of Connecticut.