LOWELL, Mass. — UMass-Lowell shut out Merrimack College, 4-0, Friday night at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass. The win for the River Hawks evens the season series at 1-1-0. With the win, UMass-Lowell remains tied, with Boston College, for first place in the Hockey East standings with only three games remaining. The River Hawks victory jumped them up to fourth in the Pairwise rankings, tied with New Hampshire and Boston College.
After an uneventful and scoreless first two periods, the River Hawks got the scoring started 5:50 into the third period. Freshman forward, Adam Chapie received a chip pass from Jake Suter, then flipped the puck past Sam Marotta of Merrimack College. Less than two minutes later, Ryan McGrath fired a shot from just inside the blue line, however Derek Arnold tipped the passed and tallied the River Hawks second goal of the game, increasing their lead to 2-0. After Mark Dennehy, Merrimack’s head coach, pulled Marotta from the net with 2:33 left in regulation, Arnold tallied his second goal of the game on another McGrath pass. Colin Wright would add another empty netter for the River Hawks, putting them up 4-0 and sealing the deal.
UMass-Lowell head coach, Norm Bazin started Connor Hellebuyck for the sixth straight game, putting to rest the question on who is the number one goaltender in Lowell. Hellebuyck stopped all 31 shots fired at him while recording his fourth shut out of the season and improving his goals against average and save percentage to 1.45 and .945 respectively.
Both the River Hawks and the Warriors failed to capitalize on special teams play on Friday night. Merrimack went 0-for-5, while UMass-Lowell went 0-for-4 while on the power play. The Warriors out-shot the River Hawks, but were unable to get anything past the UMass-Lowell defense and goaltending.
The two teams will be back at it on Sunday for the season series finale at Lawler Arena in North Andover, Mass. If UMass-Lowell wins, their chances for home ice advantage would be greatly increased, while the game is a must win for Merrimack if they want to be in the run for home ice. The game starts at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time on CBS Sports Network.