Men’s hockey continues climb to playoffs, 3-0 over UMass Lowell


Sarah Olender

Craig Pantano peers behind the net during the Beanpot final earlier this week.

Leah Cussen, news staff

In their first game after winning their third Beanpot Championship title in a row, No. 12 men’s hockey dominated No. 11 UMass Lowell with a final score of 3-0. With just seven games left for the Huskies before the Hockey East playoffs and NU holding the seventh position in the conference, every point counts.

UMass Lowell (15-8-5, 9-5-4 HEA) had poor shot selection throughout the game, seeming to value quantity over quality. The River Hawks finished up the game with an astounding 50 shots and only 24 of them on goal. Fifth-year senior Craig Pantano certainly brought his A-game to tonight’s game, ending with a 1.000 save percentage and his second shutout of the season.

Overall, UMass Lowell lacked precision and focus, ending up with 33 penalty minutes, while Northeastern (16-8-3, 9-7-1 HEA) only racked up 6.

The first period started off strong, with a Husky powerplay goal at 6:54 by sophomore center Tyler Madden and assists by senior defenseman Ryan Shea and junior forward Zach Solow.

Neither team demonstrated a lot of offensive power during the second period, but ultimately the Huskies scored again at 5:47. Ryan Shea picked up his second point of the game off a goal assisted by freshman forward Neil Shea.

As the third period began, UMass Lowell failed to match the physicality of the Huskies. Within the first four minutes, a deflected NU pass gave the River Hawks a breakaway opportunity. With no defenseman between the puck and goal, fifth-year senior forward Brendan Van Riemsdyk quickly caught up to the two UMass Lowell offensive players, reached out and intercepted a pass to disrupt the River Hawks’ best chance at a goal.

During the second half of the third period, the River Hawks struggled to get the puck effectively into NU’s zone. At 18:03, UMass Lowell senior goaltender Tyler Wall left the net as the River Hawks attempted to have as much offense as possible with just a few minutes left in the game.

However, their efforts proved fruitless, as senior forward Grant Jozefek scored the Husky’s third goal of the game on an empty net with only .5 seconds left in the period. While the goal was initially under review to determine if it was scored before time expired, the Huskies and the River Hawks had already started the post-game handshake. Rather than playing out the last half a second after the review was completed, the Huskies began celebrating their victory.

The Huskies will look to retain their momentum and complete the sweep against UMass Lowell on Feb 15 at 8 p.m. If they can win again tomorrow, the Huskies will keep their top eight ranking in Hockey East and gain a little more cushion over Providence (14-9-6, 8-8-3 HEA) and UNH (15-12-2, 9-9-1 HEA), who they have two games in hand on.