UMass Lowell and Hellebuyck get HEA weekly awards

Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week. (Photo/Justin Soderberg/View from 123)

(Photo/Justin Soderberg/View from 123)

The UMass Lowell River Hawks took both games of a two-game road trip to the state of Michigan over the weekend, taking Friday night‘s tilt over the Michigan State Spartans, 4-1 and Saturday night‘s game against the Michigan Wolverines, 2-1.

With their successful weekend, Hockey East has named the River Hawks the Hockey East Team of the Week.

After starting the season off with a horrendous 1-for-29 on the power play, the River Hawks managed to go 3-for-8 on the weekend and stopped all chances on the penalty kill going 7-for-7.

Joseph Gambardella, Josh Holmstrom, Adam Chapie and Stephen Buco tallied their first goals of the season during the teams road trip. The long travel to Michigan might have been just what the River Hawks needed to get on a run.

Connor Hellebuyck started both games in net for the River Hawks and it proved to have been the right decision for head coach Norm Bazin. Hellebuyck is a Michigan native and managed to put up a couple of one-goal performances for his first back-to-back wins of the season.

Hellebuyck gave up two goals on 64 shots and save percentage of .969 was enough to earn the UMass Lowell goaltender the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week award.

After a successful weekend, the River Hawks moved up to No. 15 and No. 14 in the USCHO and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national polls respectively.

Hellebuyck and the River Hawks will look to continue moving forward with the momentum in their favor and do their best to take two from the New Hampshire Wildcats this weekend. The home-and-home series between New Hampshire and UMass Lowell are the two teams first conference games of the year.

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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