By: Josh Brown
Five different River Hawks it the lamp Saturday night, leading the University of Massachusetts-Lowell (6-1-2, 4-0-1 in Hockey East) to a 5-0 win over struggling Northeastern (0-7-1, 0-3-1 in Hockey East).
The teams, who tied 3-3 on Friday night, usually have a history of playing close games, but on this night it was all River Hawks.
“I thought it was a game of boys versus men,” said Northeastern coach Jim Madigan. “They were men and we were boys.”
Derick Roy made the start for Northeastern, continuing to fill in for the injured Clay Witt, who missed his sixth consecutive game with an upper body injury. Freshman Jeff Smith got the nod for Lowell, earning his first collegiate shutout.
“When a goalie gets a shutout in Hockey East, it’s obviously very strong,” said River Hawks coach Norm Bazin. “I thought he had a solid game.”
After a scoreless first period, Michael Fallon got on the board, scoring on a five-on-three power play to give Lowell the 1-0 lead. Fallon, who was standing in the slot, picked up a rebound and was able to jam it past the outstretched Roy.
Northeastern had a chance to tie the game when Ryan Rosenthal was awarded a penalty shot midway through the period, but he was stopped by Smith’s blocker to preserve the lead.
Later in the period, freshman C.J. Smith gave his team a two-goal advantage, again on a power play, taking a Dylan Zink pass and beating Roy to get his second goal of the season.
“We own the ability to be the dumbest team right now when we’re down a man,” said Madigan.
Less than four minutes later, the River Hawks started to run away with the game when Michael Colantone gave Jake Kamrass a one-timer that he shot into the back of the net to make it 3-0.
Lowell continued to pour it on in the third, scoring a short-handed goal at 8:28 thanks to a Joe Gambardella breakaway, set up when Jake Suter poked the puck away in the neutral zone.
Suter got a goal of his own, his first of the season, at 19:29 in the period to give the River Hawks the 5-0 win.
“It’s a good sign that guys are contributing,” said Bazin, “and we’ll see if we can keep that going. I thought it was a well-played hockey game. They’re a great opponent, this is a historic rink, and we’re glad we came out with two points.”
Madigan, whose team continues to struggle early on, laid the blame on everyone after the loss.
“We need to be better top to bottom, coaches, players, if we’re going to compete in this league,” Madigan said. “They just pounded us, took it to us. They out-skated us. They wanted the puck more. They imposed their will more on us. They were more physical.”
“And they just grind you and grind you, and we didn’t want to make the sacrifice or commitment to playing that type of game.”
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