The UMass Lowell River Hawks are set to take on the Providence College Friars in a Hockey East semifinal game at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on Friday, March 18 at 5:00 p.m. eastern. Game will air live on the New England Sports Network (NESN), NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and NBC Sports Live Extra.
UMass Lowell currently sits at No. 8 in the USCHO.com and the USA Today polls. The River Hawks have been nationally ranked for 89 consecutive weeks. The River Hawks have been in the top-10 for 56 of those weeks.
Last weekend, UMass Lowell swept the Boston University Terriers in a best-of-three quarterfinals series at the Tsongas Center in Lowell. The River Hawks took the first game 3-2 and the second game 5-0.
This is the 112th meeting between the two schools and the third this season. Providence holds the edge in the all-time series, 54-46-11, but UMass Lowell has an edge in postseason play 6-3-1. The two teams split the regular season series, 1-1-0, each winning on home ice. UMass Lowell is 8-8-0 against Providence since Head Coaches Norm Bazin and Nate Leaman took over behind their respective benches.
UMass Lowell and Providence College are meeting in the Hockey East playoffs for the seventh time and for only the second time in the semifinals. The River Hawks hold a 6-3-1 edge including a 2-1 win in the 2013 semifinals. UMass Lowell went on to win its first Hockey East Tournament Championship with a win against Boston University the following day. The two teams have split four quarterfinal series. Providence won the most recent, in three games, in 2012. UMass Lowell won the only third place game meeting between the two clubs in 1986. Although not as playoff game it is worthy of note that UMass Lowell won its only Hockey East regular season title with a 4-1 win in Providence in the final game of the 2013 regular season.
UMass Lowell is making its 17th appearance in the semifinals, only three teams have made more, Boston University (22), Boston College (21) and Maine (19). New Hampshire has also made 17 appearances in the semifinals. The River Hawks are 3-0-0 in the semifinal and 2-1-0 in the Championship Game under Bazin’s watch.
Be sure to checkout our Hockey East weekly predictions for our best guess on who picks up wins this weekend. Predictions are made by members of the college hockey media from various publications.
|DATES||Friday, March 18|
|TIMES||5:00 p.m. ET|
|LISTEN||ESPN New Hampshire / 980 WCAP|
|WATCH||NESN/NBC Sports Network|
TALE OF THE TAPE
|UMASS LOWELL||2015-16 SEASON||PROVIDENCE COLLEGE|
|8 / 8||USA TODAY / USCHO||3 / 3|
|3.14||GOALS PER GAME||3.39|
|1.81||GOALS AGAINST PER GAME||1.86|
|8.9||PENALTY MINUTES PER GAME||12.0|
|19.7%||POWER PLAY %||20.5%|
36gp (16-21-37) +17
|TOP FORWARD||Mark Jankowski
36gp (15-25-40) +26
35gp (10-12-22) +13
|TOP DEFENSEMAN||Jake Walman
27gp (13-15-28) +13
35gp (22-8-5) .934 SV%
|TOP GOALIE||Nick Ellis
34gp (25-5-4) .934 SV%
If UMass Lowell can survive Friday night’s contest, the River Hawks will face the winner of the later game between the Boston College Eagles and Northeastern Huskies. The Championship takes place on Saturday. A UMass Lowell loss will eliminate them from the Hockey East tournament and they will have to wait until Sunday to determine where they play in the NCAA tournament.
PHOTO: John Corneau/Mill City Sports