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Final: UConn Men’s Hockey Falls to UMass Lowell, 5-2

The Huskies drop the first game of the home-and-home.

UConn’s Adam Huska (30) just misses making the save in the first period.
Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

Despite scoring first, the UConn men’s hockey team conceded four unanswered goals and ultimately fell to the UMass Lowell River Hawks, 5-2. The Huskies nearly got within one in the final period, but the goal was waived off because UConn had too many men on the ice.

Head coach Mike Cavanaugh broke down the loss postgame:

“The result was very disappointing. I think at times we played some of our best hockey. We haven’t put 40 shots on a goaltender yet this year and it was pretty consistent too. I liked some of those things that we did.

“At times, the margin of winning and losing in this league is so small, at times those battles in the red-zone, right in front of the goaltender, they won two of them and we didn’t. I think that was a major difference in the game. You can’t confuse effort with results either. Even though I thought we played pretty well, we didn’t get the result we were looking for.”

The Huskies will get their shot at revenge tomorrow at the Tsonga Center, with the puck drop coming at 5 p.m.

Here’s how things went down:

Live Updates:

UConn lines:

UMass Lowell Lines:

First Period:

4:28 - GOAL: On a breakaway, Ruslan Iskhakov puts a filthy move on the goaltender to put UConn up 1-0.

8:05: It doesn’t take long for UMass Lowell to even it up. The River Hawks somehow get a stick on a pass from the corner that sneaks past Huska for the goal. Fluky goal, but a goal nonetheless.

17:31: UConn gets the first penalty of the day. Roman Kinal get sent to the box for interference. UMass Lowell will be on the power play all but the final 29 seconds of the period.

19:04: UMass Lowell scores again. River Hawks appear to get away with a penalty and capitalize with a goal seconds later.

Recap: Despite playing well in the first period, UConn trails 2-1. The Huskies opened the scoring after Ruslan Iskhakov picked off a pass at the blue line and flew towards net on the breakaway. He deked the goalie and put the puck into the back of the net to give UConn a 1-0 lead.

However, the lead didn’t last long. Less than four minutes later, UMass Lowell picked up a puck behind the net and sent it towards the middle of the ice. Ryan Dmowski got his stick on the puck and sent it towards net, somehow beating Adam Huska for the goal.

The two teams went back and forth for the next 10 minutes, without either team having a chance of note. However, UMass Lowell went on the power play after Roman Kinal got whistled for interference and the River Hawks capitalized. Lucas Condotta stole the puck at the face-off circle, turned a fired a shot past Huska to give his team a 2-1 lead going into the first intermission.

Second Period:

0:14: UMass Lowell doesn’t wait long to add to their lead. Ryan Dmowski goes bar-down to put the River Hawks up 3-1.

5:45: UMass Lowell adds another. Ryan Lohim has his first shot blocked but he puts in his own rebound through Huska’s five-hole. River Hawks now up 4-1.

8:41: UConn gets their first power play of the night after Conor Sodergren goes to the box for closing his hand on the puck. Huskies looking to cut into the deficit.

14:33: UMass Lowell’s Nick Master goes to the box for hooking. Another power play chance for UConn.

Recap: Things quickly went south for UConn in the second period. UMass Lowell added to their lead just 14 seconds into the period after the Huskies failed to clear a puck from the front of the net and Ryan Dmowski took advantage, sending a bar-down shot into the net.

Not long after, the River Hawks again made UConn pay for not clearing the puck out. Ryan Lohim had his first shot blocked but recovered and sent the rebound through Huska’s legs to give UMass Lowell the 4-1 lead.

The Huskies had a pair of power plays in the period, but failed to capitalize on either.

Third Period:

1:52: UConn’s Jonny Evans goes to the box for tripping.

2:28 - GOAL: UMass Lowell’s goaltender Tyler Wall loses the puck through his legs while trying to freeze it and Karl El-Mir puts it home to bring UConn to within two. River Hawks lead down to 4-2.

4:41: UConn on the power play after Sam Knoblauch goes to the box for interference.

11:16: UConn’s Corson Green gets whistled for holding, putting UMass Lowell on the power play.

14:32: Ruslan Iskhakov scores on another breakaway, but the Huskies are called for too many men on the ice. Iskhakov will serve the penalty.

17:36: UMass Lowell adds another. They lead 5-2.

Recap: The third period didn’t appear to get off to a great start for UConn. Less than two minutes in, Jonny Evans went to the box for tripping, putting the Huskies down a man. But UConn caught a break when the puck went back to River Hawks’s goaltender Tyler Wall. He tried to freeze the puck but Karl El-Mir either poked it loose or simply made Wall nervous and the puck slipped through his legs towards net and El-Mir put it home to bring it in within two.

The Huskies appeared to close the gap on a breakaway from Iskhakov, but the goal was called back for too many men on the ice. UConn couldn’t capitalize on any other chances and UMass Lowell added the dagger with less than three minutes to go up 5-2.