UMass Lowell Stumbles on Power Play in Loss Quinnipiac

(Photo/Justin Soderberg/View from 123)

(Photo/Justin Soderberg/View from 123)

LOWELL, Mass. – After entering the season as the No. 1 ranked school in the country, UMass Lowell now finds themselves in a 1-2-0 whole following Friday night’s stumble in loss to Quinnipiac University, 3-1.

After a scoreless first period, the Bobcats took the early lead in the second on a Jordan Samuels-Thomas power play goal at 2:03. With four power play opportunities in the second period, the River Hawks were given every chance to even the score or take the lead. However, allowing two even strength goals to Connor Jones and Derek Smith, UMass Lowell found themselves in a three goal deficit.

“The second period was poor,” said UMass Lowell head coach Norm Bazin. “I didn’t have a problem necessarily with the first period, I thought we played okay. I thought we played well in the third, but the second period was definitely our achilles heal tonight.”

UMass Lowell went 0-for-7 while on the power play Friday night and allowed one goal while killing one of their three penalties. The River Hawks power play has struggled all season, after Friday night’s game the team is only 1-for-20 over three games this season.

“[The power play] will have to get a lot better. We’re going to have to look at it on film again,” said Bazin. “I thought we had some good looks, we had shots to the net and [Michael Garteig] was able to not give up any rebounds. We’re going to have to generate some rebounds if we hope to score.”

UMass Lowell had only 22 shots on net during Friday night’s loss. It was the first game this season, including the exhition game, where the River Hawks had not fired 30 or more shots on net.

Adam Chapie was able to stop the Bobcats from shutting out the River Hawks with an early third period goal, but it just wasn’t enough. Jake Suter and Joseph Gambardella assisted on Chapie’s goal. Gambardella’s assist was his first collegiate point.

Connor Hellebuyck surrendered two-plus goals for the second straight game, a statistic which only happened twice during the 2012-13 season. Additionally, Hellebuyck only surrendered three or more goals twice last season.

Doug Carr will likely get the start between the pipes on Saturday night as the River Hawks travel to Hamden, Conn. for the tail end of a home-and-home series. Puck is set to drop at 7:00 p.m. eastern.

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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