The NCAA’s Frozen Four kicked off at CONSOL Energy Center Thursday night. The Yale Bulldogs and UMass-Lowell River Hawks were the evening’s opening matchup and they didn’t disappoint as they played what was an overtime thriller.
Yale would take advantage of a power play midway through the first period as Mitch Witek scored the game’s first goal. Witek rifled the puck from the blue line and past UMass Lowell goalie, Connor Hellebuyck. Carson Cooper and Andrew Miller picked up assists on the Witek goal.
The Bulldogs finished the first period strong; notching goal in the final minute of the frame. Antoine Laganiere would give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead going into the first intermission. Matt Killian would get the only assist on Laganiere’s goal.
The River Hawks came out looking like a much different team in the second period, playing with a physical edge and taking the body on nearly every play. A majority of the second period would be a “back-and-forth” style of hockey.
That would all change during the 14-minute mark, as the River Hawks would get two goals in a 14-second span to tie the game up at 2-2.
Riley Wetmore scored his 16th of the season at even strength. Derek Arnold and Scott Wilson would get the assists. Joseph Pendenza would tie the game at two with his 15th of the season. A.J. White and Josh Holmstrom would get the assists on Pendenza’s game tying goal.
Yale would come out guns blazing in the third frame. The Bulldogs would go on the power play when Joe Houk would go off for high sticking. The River Hawks would hold down the fort with some key saves by goaltender, Connor Hellebuyck.
Hellebuyck would keep UMass-Lowell in the game despite Yale being able to sustain pressure in the River Hawks end of the ice for a majority of the third period. The Bulldogs would outshoot the River Hawks 16-3 in the third frame.
Yale would get all of the shots in the overtime period, outshooting UML 7-0. Andrew Miller would score the game-winning goal just 6:59 into overtime. Miller caused a turnover high in the slot, skated toward the net, switched to his backhand and slipped the puck through Hellebuyck’s five-hole for the overtime win.
Kenny Agostino played a solid game with two points, (1G, 1A).
Yale’s Jesse Root had a strong game in the faceoff circle, winning 18 of 33 chances.
UMass-Lowell was able to convert despite limited chances to do so.
Scott Wilson extended his point-scoring streak to eight games with his assist on Wetmore’s goal.
UMass-Lowell goaltender, Connor Hellebuyck played a solid positional game, giving the River Hawks a chance to stay in the game.
Today’s game was the 12th all-time meeting between Yale and UMass-Lowell
Blocked Shots: UML-32 Yale-19
Shots: UML-18 Yale-47
Faceoffs Won: UML-46 Yale-35
Five NHL Prospects played in the game: Kenny Agostino (CAL), Gus Young (COL), Rob O’Gara (BOS), Scott Wilson (PIT), Connor Hellebuyck (WIN).
1st Star – Andrew Miller (YALE)
2nd Star – Antoine Laganiere(YALE)
3rd Star – Connor Hellebuyck (UML)
POST GAME AUDIO