UConn’s three-game win streak came to an end on the road after being defeated by UMass Lowell 3-2 in overtime in Tuesday’s away game at Tsongas Center.
While the first period was a hard-fought 20 minutes into the match, Lowell (3-5) proved to be the dominant side over the Huskies (8-6-2). With 17 of their 31 shots on target compared to UConn’s 7 on target out of 12, it was inevitable for the home side to take action after holding on to a four-game losing streak. Over four and a half minutes in UConn were on a power play after Lowell’s Marek Korencik was sent to the box for roughing; but the Huskies were unable to utilize this advantage.
UConn kept on putting pressure on Lowell’s defense as time went on, but to no avail in scoring. It wasn’t until the 16:50 mark did Lowell get on the second power play of the night following Hudson Schandor’s two-minute penalty for tripping. Over a minute later, the Riverhawks slotted in the first goal of the match with just over two minutes left in the first period. Lowell’s Matt Brown found Reid Stefanson wide open who took his chance from a distance. The puck ended up deflecting off of Brian Chambers and into the net. With five seconds left in the period, UConn’s Vladislav Firstov was penalized for tripping. There was still hope for UConn to make a comeback, as goaltender Tomas Vomacka’s 18 saves wouldn’t be overshadowed by the one puck he let in.
With a bit under two minutes left on the power play, Lowell entered the second period with the advantage but couldn’t use the time wisely. At the 2:42 mark, another Husky player went to the penalty box — Ryan Wheeler for high sticking. UConn took more chances this period in getting their shots; and this eventually led to the visitors to equalize the match past the midway point. With about 5 minutes left in the period, Kale Howarth scored his fifth goal this season with Jonny Evans and Carter Berger aiding in the build-up. At the 17:25 mark, UConn were on the power play after Lowell’s Sam Knoblauch was sent to the penalty box for goalie interference. Despite the momentum UConn built up, it was quickly shattered when the River Hawks’ Reid Stefanson regained the lead with 15 seconds left in the period.
In the opening three minutes of the final period, UConn got back on the power play following a holding call on Lowell’s Ben Meehan. Within the two-minute penalty, the Huskies were able to take six shots; all but two were on target. At the 6:39 mark, Harrison Rees had his turn in the penalty box for holding. UConn were able to keep their composure despite being down a player. With five minutes left in the final period, UConn’s Ryan Tverberg scored a tight-angled goal, marking his third goal of the season and brought the game back on.
There were great attempts from both sides to try and finish the match, but Tuesday’s victor would be determined in a three-on-three overtime. UConn only managed to take one shot in OT while the River Hawks put on the pressure. After their fourth attempt, the home side’s Andre Lee scored the game-winner and brought Lowell back to winning ways.
“I thought they jumped us pretty good in the first period…,” head coach Mike Cavanaugh said in a post-game press conference. “I thought we played a pretty good third period, tied the game up, had some chances to win the game in regulation …. Overall, besides the first period, I was really happy with the way we competed and the effort we had.”
The ice bus will continue to be on the road as the Huskies prepare to face No.16 Providence on Friday for the second time this season.