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UConn men’s hockey loses at No. 15 UMass Lowell, 3-0

The Huskies were outplayed in the final period en route to their third straight defeat.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn men’s hockey’s losing streak is now at three after the Huskies fell to the No. 15 UMass Lowell River Hawks on the road, 3-0. Despite holding a 34-24 advantage in shots on goal, the Huskies couldn’t beat opposing goaltender Owen Savory.

After two periods of scoreless hockey, UMass Lowell finally broke through early in the third. UConn’s Hudson Schandor made an errant pass inside his own blue line and handed the puck to the River Hawks’ Carl Berglund. He gave it to Andre Lee, who re-directed it past Darion Hanson to put the hosts up 1-0.

Lee doubled UMass Lowell’s lead with 3:43 on an impressive individual play in which he beat UConn defenseman Roman Kinal and then sniped it past Hanson. The River Hawks added an empty netter to seal the game at 3-0.

The Huskies won the opening face-off and pinned UMass Lowell in its own zone by dominating possession for the first few minutes of the game. That quickly flipped when Harrison Rees went to the box for slashing, giving the hosts the first power play of the day.

While UConn killed the penalty without giving up any dangerous chances, the team struggled to find a way back into the game. The Huskies got their first advantage of the day a little more than a minute after Rees’ penalty expired, though the power play was quickly wiped out by a hook from John Spetz.

Once again, UConn’s penalty kill came up strong — and Ryan Tverberg even had a shorthanded chance on a breakaway — but after the game returned to even strength, UMass Lowell continued to keep the pressure on.

The Huskies struggled to create offensively until the end of the first period. Jonny Evans appeared to give UConn the lead off a rebound from an attempt from Rees, only for the goal to be waved off because of a high stick from Marc Gatcomb.

Gatcomb then went to the box for hitting from behind, which put the River Hawks at the power play with eight seconds left in the first quarter. The hosts got the puck on the doorstep twice but were denied both times. Tverberg came free on his second shorthanded breakaway of the day but again couldn’t finish.

Neither team generated any grade-A chances in the second period aside from a back-door opportunity that Hanson rejected with an acrobatic save.

After Lee put UMass Lowell ahead 1-0 in the third, Savory made sure to keep it that way. Ryan Tverberg collected a rebound and fired on an open net, only for Savory to deny him with a sprawling, cross-crease stick save. While UConn kept pressure on the River Hawks, it didn’t have any dangerous goal-scoring opportunities.

With the loss, the Huskies fall to 6-6-0 on the season and 4-4-0 in Hockey East play. They’ll look to get back in the win column when they take on UMass Lowell at the XL Center at 3:35. CW20 will broadcast the action from Hartford.

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