Nov. 22, 2013
Lowell, Mass. – Massachusetts-Lowell junior center Stephen Buco scored a first-period power-play goal and it proved to be the only goal the River Hawks would need as they blanked Notre Dame, 1-0, in front of 6,515 at the Tsongas Center on Friday night.
River Hawks goaltender Connor Hellebucyk stopped all 40 shots he faced to pick up his second shutout of the season. Notre Dame out shot UMass.-Lowell, 40-28 on the night. Steven Summerhays made 28 saves, giving up just the one goal to suffer the loss.
The loss drops the No. 6 Irish to 8-4-1 overall and 2-2-1 in Hockey East play. The 11th-ranked River Hawks won their fourth straight game to improve to 9-4-0 on the year and 3-1-0 in conference play.
“They (UMass.-Lowell) were everything as advertised,” said Irish head coach Jeff Jackson.
“They are one of the best defensive teams in the country and they play that way. They have a great goaltender. He played extremely well tonight, but they do a good job in front of him defending and they transition well from their defense. They are a good team at both ends of the ice.”
The River Hawks took advantage of a pair of Notre Dame penalties late in the first period to score the only goal of the game.
The Irish killed Peterson’s penalty but with 29 seconds left on Costello’s, Buco got his third of the season at 15:46, beating Steven Summerhays with a back hander from the right side of the goal. Left wing Ryan McGrath kept the puck in at the blue line by the right boards and threw a pass down low to Buco who in the same motion back-handed the puck over the Notre Dame goaltender for the 1-0 lead.
From there, it was all about the goaltending as Hellebucyk and Summerhays dueled the rest of the way.
“We had our share of chances, especially in the third,” said Jackson.
“The difference in the game is that they scored on the power play and we didn’t. That’s the bottom line.”
In the scoreless second period, Notre Dame almost got the equalizer just two minutes into the second when Sam Herr rang a shot off the post to the right of Hellebucyk as he was on a two-on-one with Peter Schneider.
“Those three are our senior leaders and tonight they did what they could. We just couldn’t buy a goal,” said Jackson.
“Right now, I can’t consistently play them together because we are missing our second and third line centers, so I have to use T.J. (Tynan) elsewhere. But, they and our senior defensemen played well. I can’t fault the effort.”
The Irish had three power plays in the second period and had the shot advantage with a 12-9 margin.
The third period saw Notre Dame dominate possession, as the Irish had a 15-6 edge in shots. They would get Summerhays off with one minute to go for an extra attacker, but Hellebucyk and the River Hawks were equal to the task and held on for the victory.
The last time Notre Dame was shutout in a game came on Feb. 17, 2012 when Miami’s Connor Knapp made 31 saves in a 3-0 win.
Game two of the series is set for 4:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at the Tsongas Arena. The game will be televised by the New England Sports Network (NESN) and is available on cable and satellite networks.
* Over the last three games, goaltender Steven Summerhays has a 1-1-1 record while giving up just three goals on 86 shots. He has a 0.98 goals-against average and a .965 save percentage.
GAME SUMMARY 1 2 3 - F#6/#6 Notre Dame (8-4-1/2-2-1) 0 0 0 - 0#11/#13 UMass.-Lowell (9-4-0/3-1-0) 1 0 0 - 1
1st Period: UML: Stephen Buco 3 (Ryan McGrath, Adam Chapie), PPG, 15:46.
Penalties: ND: 2 for 4 minutes; UML: 0 for 0 minutes.
2nd Period: No Scoring.
Penalties: ND: 1 for 2 minutes; UML: 3 for 6 minutes.
3rd Period: No Scoring
Penalties: ND: 0 for 0 minutes; UML: 0 for 0 minutes.
Shots On Goal:Notre Dame 13 - 12 - 15 - 40UMass.-Lowell 12 - 10 - 6 - 28
Goaltender Saves:ND: Steven Summerhays (59:00) 11 - 10 - 6 - 27UML: Connor Hellebucyk (60:00) 13 - 12 - 15 - 40
Power Plays:ND: 0 for 3UML: 1 for 3