By Joe Nolan
In a sloppy affair at Fenway Park, Northeastern defeated UMass Lowell 4 – 1, pushing them up another notch in the Hockey East Standings to 2nd place. Witt made 47 saves as the Huskies improved to 13-6-3 overall (6-4-1 Hockey East).
Less than ideal weather made for an unusual hockey game, and there was clearly an adjustment period for both teams from the start of the contest. The puck moved very slowly in the wet conditions, and neither team generated much offense in the 1st frame. However, the Huskies came out swinging in the 2nd. Mike Szmatula poked the puck into the neutral zone for Braden Pimm which led to a 2 on 1 rush. Pimm fired a mid-range wrist shot past Doug Carr’s glove to continue his hot streak, later adding an empty net goal for his fourth in just two games.
Less than two minutes later Northeastern increased its lead on Matt Benning’s 2nd goal of the season. The defenseman joined a rush and planted himself on the far side of the crease. Carr failed to handle a close shot from Szmatula, and Benning swept in the rebound to put the team up 2 – 0.
Later in the period Josh Manson decided to get in on the fun, and skated the puck all the way from his own end to create another rush with Szmatula. The Riverhawk defense played the pass, but then paid for it as Manson snapped a shot into the far side of the goal. Up 3 – 0, Northeastern appeared to have control of the game, but the Riverhawks showed they wouldn’t go away quietly and got one back in the final minute of the period. Lowell’s leading scorer Joe Pendenza won the puck along the goal line and passed it into the slot for Zack Kamrass, who one-timed it past Witt.
Unfortunately for Lowell that was all the offense they would get. Late in the game, Kevin Roy was sent off for a slash, and coach Norm Bazin opted to pull Carr for a two-man advantage. It only lasted 26 seconds, ending when Pimm stole the puck on the blue line, easily slid it into the net, and drew a penalty for good measure.
Northeastern will look to continue its winning ways when the team returns to Matthews Arena for two games next weekend. The tough to beat Vermont Catamounts will visit for one conference and one non-conference game on Friday and Saturday night, respectively.