Nov. 24, 2013
Lowell, Mass. – Special teams dominated the action on Saturday afternoon as UMass.-Lowell scored three power-play goals to one for Notre Dame on the way to a 3-1 victory over the Irish in front of 6,405 at the Tsongas Center Saturday afternoon.
The River Hawks two man-advantage goals in the first period with defensemen Zack Kamrass and Michael Kapla scoring off screen shots against Steven Summerhays. Notre Dame cut the lead to 2-1 in the second period on a power-play goal by Bryan Rust and UML’s Joe Pendenza scored into an open net on the power play in the final minute of play.
The loss, the second of the weekend for the Irish, drops Notre Dame to 8-5-1 overall and 2-3-1 in Hockey East play while UMass.-Lowell wins its fifth straight and ninth of the last 10 to go to 10-4-0 on the season and 4-1-0 in conference play.
The last time that the Irish were swept in a road series came on Feb. 17-18, 2012 when they dropped a pair at Miami.
Notre Dame out shot the River Hawks by a 35-34 margin. Summerhays finished with 31 saves while Connor Hellebucyk had 34 stops. The Irish were 1-for-5 on the power play while UMass.-Lowell was 3-for-6.
“Tonight was very simiiar to Friday’s game,” said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.
“That’s what I expected. It was like a continuation of yesterday (Friday’s 1-0 loss). We didn’t seem to be in the right place at the right time for rebounds. We had chances, plenty of opportunities. We had plenty of shots over the two nights and only scored one goal.”
The River Hawks took a 2-0 lead with a pair of power-play goals in the first period following a goal that was called off on the Irish.
After Notre Dame killed off a penalty to Kevin Lind, the Irish broke back on the UMass.-Lowell goal with Sam Herr beating a defenseman and scoring on Hellebucyk to give the Irish what looked like a 1-0 lead. On the play, Herr was bumped into the River Hawks goaltender before the shot and was called for goaltender interference at 16:53 of the opening period.
Less than a minute later, Kamrass fired a shot from the top of the left circle through a screen to beat Summerhays for the power-play goal at 17:48 and the River Hawks had the 1-0 lead.
The Irish bench then was given a minor penalty following the goal for protesting the call on Herr and the goal that followed.
UMass.-Lowell capitalized on that opportunity when Kapla scored on a wrist shot from the high slot that slipped through a screen past Summerhays for Kapla’s first of the year and a 2-0 lead for the River Hawks.
“Tonight, they (UMass.-Lowell) got pucks to the net on the power play. There was more traffic, more rebound opportunities,” said Jackson.
“The way they played tonight was what I saw on film. Lots of point shots and then trying to out number you down low.”
Notre Dame got back in the game at 11:36 of the second period when Rust broke through on Hellebucyk for the first Irish goal of the weekend on the power play. T.J. Tynan carried over the blue line and left the puck for Rust coming down the left side. The senior snapped a shot inside the left post and the goaltender’s blocker to make it 2-1. The goal was Rust’s third of the season.
The third period saw the action go both ways with Notre Dame having several good chances as the Irish out shot the River Hawks, 11-7, but could not dent the sophomore goaltender.
The Irish were penalized with 1:57 to go in the game and pulled Summerhays for an extra attacker. UMass.-Lowell’s Josh Holmstrom moved the puck ahead to Pendenza in the neutral zone and he fired it into the open goal for a power-play tally and the final score of 3-1. The goal was Pendenza’s fifth of the season.
“Our guys are disappointed in the outcome. We come expecting to win,” said Jackson.
“It’s a little challenging right now. We are missing our second and third line centers and that takes away our wingers ability to generate offense. I rotated three centers tonight and they get tired. I even rotated a few wingers in there to get them a break. That has a lot to do with our ability to generate offense. That will resolve itself over time.”
Notre Dame returns home from its two-game Hockey East road trip to host the 2013 Shillelagh Tournament at the Compton Family Ice Arena on Nov. 29-30. The action begins on Friday at 4:05 p.m. with Western Michigan facing Northeastern. Notre Dame will then play host to Alabama-Huntsville at 7:35 p.m.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F#6/#6 Notre Dame (8-5-1/2-3-1) 0 1 0 - 1#11/#13 UMass.-Lowell (10-4-0/4-1-0) 2 0 1 - 3
1st Period: UML: Zack Kamrass 1 (Christian Folin, Joseph Pendenza), PPG, 17:48; UML: Michael Kapla 1 (Chris Maniccia, Derek Arnold), PPG, 18:41.
Penalties: ND: 3 for 6 minutes; UML: 2 for 4 minutes.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; UML: 3 for 6 minutes.
3rd Period: UML: Joseph Pendenza 5 (Josh Holmstrom), PPG, ENG, 19:13.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; UML: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Notre Dame 10 - 14 - 11 - 35UMass.-Lowell 11 - 16 - 7 - 34
Goaltender Saves:ND: Steven Summerhays (59:23) 9 - 16 - 6 - 31UML: Connor Hellebucyk (60:00) 10 - 13 - 11 - 34
Power Plays:ND: 1 for 5UML: 3 for 6