UMass comes from behind to beat UMass Lowell 4-3 on Sunday

Scott Morrow scores game winning goal for Minutemen

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Maya Geer/ Daily Collegian

By Kayla Gregoire, Collegian Staff

LOWELL — After a frustrating start for the Massachusetts hockey team on Sunday afternoon, it seemed like the Minutemen (13-8-2, 10-4-2 Hockey East) had a loss of momentum, but two third period goals led them to a 4-3 win.

“I think for the first time this year I felt like I saw the identity of this team and what it needs to be,” UMass head coach Greg Carvel said. “I really liked our last two periods. It kind of felt like we were going to find a way to win.”

The Minutemen started off the first period chasing after No. 14 UMass Lowell (14-6-3, 11-5-1 HEA). The River Hawks used their speed early and were able to generate a goal less than two minutes into the frame.

Only two minutes after UML added on to the score sheet the Minutemen added a goal from Lucas Mercuri to make a tie game. Mercuri caught a quick tap pass from Ryan Ufko then threw the puck towards the net that made its way through traffic and in.

Throughout the game there was a lot of physicality on both sides. There had been a fight between Mercuri and Ben Meehan during the second period and continuous whistles were blown indicating a scrum going on between the teams.

The physicality of the game gave the Minutemen their first power play opportunity. Within the first 20 seconds Ufko had room to give the puck to Bobby Trivigno, but Trivigno came up short on a hard one-timer from his knee.

After Trivigno’s shot, UMass could not generate enough pressure to get shots on Lowell goaltender Owen Savory on the man advantage.

Lowell later scored with five minutes left in the first period when River Hawks captain Lucas Condotta skated past Matthew Kessel to give the River Hawks the lead again. The UMass bench challenged the call for offsides, but the original call on ice was not overturned.

Another call seemed to not go UMass’ way when Taylor Makar shot the puck to the back of the net during the second period but was deemed a no-goal after an official review. The next period he was able to find the back of the net for his first collegiate goal.

“It was really important,” Carvel said on Makar’s goal. “You don’t want to get in here and let them get going. When they get on their game, they really get going [so] it was really important to score that goal.”

Carvel wanted more big bodies on the ice for their game against Lowell which led him to slot Makar and Jerry Harding into the lineup. The Colin Felix and Slava Demin line was split up after Carvel was not seeing the results he wanted from the backend as a whole. Aaron Bohlinger took Demin’s place in the pairing and ended up with one assist on the night.

The Minutemen redeemed themselves on their third powerplay of the night when Trivigno skated around to the far-left side of the goal and sent the puck past Savory on a wrist shot to tie the game back up at 2-2.

The third period was what the Minutemen needed for the game to end in their favor. With three minutes left in the frame, Scott Morrow found the back of the net to cement a 4-3 win for UMass.

The win ends their three-game week off that started with two losses against Boston University and Providence College.

“Dropping two, especially in Hockey East is tough,” Trivigno said. “Coming in here, it’s tough to play here, especially against a Lowell team that is very well coached. We earned this victory for sure, comeback win. It’s a really good win for us and our program.”

The Minutemen will travel back home to Mullins Center to play their series against Long Island University on Feb. 4 and 5. Puck drop will be at 7 PM.

Kayla Gregoire can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @kaygregoire.