UMass Lowell scored three goals during the first 5 minutes, seconds of the third period on Sunday, surging to a 5-3 Hockey East victory over the University of Maine at Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts.
The River Hawks scored those goals in a span of 3:59, two coming on a five-minute power play, to overcome the Black Bears.
The series was originally scheduled to be played in Orono, but had to be moved to Lowell because of Maine’s 50-person indoor gathering limit imposed by Gov. Janet Mills.
UMass Lowell improved to 2-1 on the season while UMaine is 0-2-1. The teams play again at 3 p.m. Monday.
UMaine had erased a 2-0 deficit to tie it 2-2 but UML sophomore center Carl Berglund gave UMass the Lowell the lead for good 1:04 into the third period. The River Hawks then received power-play goals from Andre Lee and Connor Sodergren after UMaine defenseman Simon Butala was assessed a five-minute major for boarding only 1:31 into the period.
“Our guys played hard. But the goal early in the third period and the two power-play goals on the five-minute major sealed our fate,” UMaine head coach Red Gendron said.
He declined to comment on the five-minute Butala penalty.
The River Hawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead just 4:09 into the game on goals by senior center Charlie Levesque and his linemate Lee, a sophomore left winger.
Lee, a seventh-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings, finished with two goals and two assists.
But freshman left wing Brad Morrissey’s power-play goal with 2:49 left in the first period and sophomore center Ben Poisson’s tally at the 10:52 mark of the second period tied it up for UMaine.
Berglund’s goal was set up by a long pass off the stick of Chase Blackmun. Berglund carried the puck down the right side in a 1-on-1 with a UMaine defenseman and slipped a backhander past goalie Matt Thiessen.
Lee expanded the lead by finishing off a nifty passing sequence with the man advantage. Seth Barton slipped the puck from the left point to Ben Meehan, who wheeled around and slipped it to the far post where Lee roofed it over Thiessen’s glove.
Sodergren expanded the lead by burying a Lee rebound from the low slot.
Emil Westerlund scored on the power play to pull UMaine within two at the 11:58 mark but the Black Bears couldn’t get any closer.
Westerlund scored with a one-timer off a cross-ice feed from Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup, but the Black Bears couldn’t take advantage of another power play 54 seconds later.
Levesque opened the scoring 2:10 into the game by slicing from left to right across the slot and snapping a wrist shot over Thiessen’s shoulder.
Lee made it 2-0 just 1:59 later with a wrister from the outer edge of the left faceoff circle.
Morrissey notched his first collegiate goal and point by firing a Schmidt-Svejstrup rebound past freshman goalie Henry Welsch.
Poisson tied it midway through the second period off a pass from Donavan Houle, who pounced on a UML turnover. Poisson one-timed Houle’s pass from the middle of the slot.
Welsch wound up with 11 saves while Thiessen made 18 stops.