ALBANY, N.Y. – The quest for the No. 8 UMass Lowell River Hawks‘ trip to the Frozen Four ended after a 4-1 loss to No. 1 ranked Quinnipiac University on Sunday night in the East Regional Finals at Times Union Center.
“I would like to congratulate Quinnipiac on moving on the Frozen Four,” said UMass Lowell Head Coach Norm Bazin. “It wasn’t a good enough effort on our part and the better team won tonight.”
The River Hawks finished their season with a 25-10-5 overall record, reaching a 20-plus win season for the fifth consecutive year. Quinnipiac improves to 31-3-7 on the year.
The 2016 senior class left its mark in UMass Lowell Hockey history, as the six-man class will leave the program with the most win in Division I program history, compiling a 100-44-17 record.
“This senior class is a special group, and included in this group is Connor Hellebuyck and Christian Folin who signed after their sophomore season. This is a good group of six seniors who have done a whole bunch for the program. They hit triple digits and they are the winningest class in the history of the program. They did a great deal and should be very proud of everything they accomplished.”
Junior defenseman Dylan Zink (Madison, Wis.) and junior forward Joe Gambardella (Staten Island, N.Y.) were named to the NCAA East Regional All Tournament Team.
The River Hawks broke through with a power play goal just three minutes into the first period, to snag the 1-0 lead. After Quinnipiac’s Sam Anas picked up a penalty for hooking, sophomore defenseman Chris Forney (Thief River Falls, Minn.) fed Zink a pass at the blue line who buried a goal top shelf.
UMass Lowell held the Bobcats scoreless in the first 20 minutes of play, despite trailing 10-6 in shots on goal.
The second period saw a change in momentum as Quinnipiac evened the score 1-1 at 8:21 in the period before tacking on two more unanswered goals less than two minutes apiece.
The River Hawks saw a handful of opportunities to make some noise in the second period, including two man up advantages, but the squad couldn’t convert as the team trailed 3-1 after the first 40 minutes.
Quinnipiac would go on to notch the lone goal of the third period, as the Bobcats 4-1 lead would secure the teams ticket to the Frozen Four.
Senior goalkeeper Kevin Boyle (Manalapan, N.J.) tallied 31 saves in the outing, while Michael Gartieg picked up 14 saves for the Bobcats in the win.
Sunday’s contest marked the fifth meeting between UMass Lowell and Quinnipiac in the sport of hockey, with the Bobcats holding a slight 3-2-1 edge in the all-time-series.