Hellebuyck a rock in UMass Lowell’s win over Michigan

Hellebuyck (Photo/Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

(Photo/Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – UMass Lowell entered the Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Saturday night to face the Michigan Wolverines as the underdog. However, the River Hawks left as the better school defeating the Wolverines, 2-1.

Connor Hellebuyck became the first UMass Lowell goaltender to start back-to-back games and win back-to-back games and did so in front of his hometown crowd. The Commerce, Mich. native picked up his first win of the season on Friday night against the Michigan State Spartans, 4-1 and his second on against the Wolverines, 2-1.

On Saturday night, Hellebuyck was able to stop 38-of-39 shots fired at him by the Wolverines and has only surrendered two goals over the past two games. After his win over Michigan, the UMass Lowell net-minder improved to 2-2-0 with a 1.78 goals against average and a .939 save percentage.

Despite two good short-handed bids for the Wolverines, Hellebuyck and the River Hawks closed the door on any Michigan attempted comeback and headed back home with the win, 2-1. Hellebuyck’s outstanding play in net for UMass Lowell was named the game’s first star of the game.

“Hellebuyck was really tested tonight,” said UMass Lowell head coach Norm Bazin said of Hellebuyck. “He was a rock back there.”

Adam Chapie was the second star of the game and the owner of the game-winning-goal on Saturday night. Chapie’s third period goal was 1-of-2 power play goals scored by the River Hawks. After entering the weekend 1-for-29 while on the power play, the River Hawks seemed to have started to get things going when having the man advantage.

The UMass Lowell victory on Saturday night brings the River Hawks season record to 3-3-0 on the season as they head into next weekend. The River Hawks will battle the New Hampshire Wildcats in a home-and-home series which will start at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass. on Friday night. New Hampshire is the only other team this season to not take a loss against the Wolverines when the Wildcats tied Michigan last weekend.


Justin Soderberg has covered the UMass Lowell River Hawks and Hockey East for over two years. Soderberg also contributes to Boston Bruins coverage for Inside Hockey. Follow him on twitter: @JMSoderberg