By Matt Wellens
DULUTH, Minn. — UMass-Lowell hung on for a 3-2 victory over top-ranked Minnesota Duluth on Friday at Amsoil Arena, spoiling the Bulldogs’ third banner unveiling party of the decade, and second in a row, to start the season.
Junior defenseman Scott Perunovich and sophomore wing Noah Cates scored for the Bulldogs in the third period, with Perunovich striking two minutes into the third on the power play and Cates scoring with 1:08 to play.
All three goals for the River Hawks came in the second, including a pair 49 seconds apart.
Below are Friday’s thumbs up, thumbs down and three stars from News Tribune college hockey reporter Matt Wellens
Thumbs up to the Bulldogs on the man advantage
While UMD’s first power play of the night in the first period failed to leave much of an impression, the Bulldogs’ advantages in the third sure did.
Perunovich teamed up with the Cates brothers, Noah and Jackson, to get UMD on the board with a power play goal. He took a pass from Noah Cates and fired a puck through the screen of Jackson Cates at the 1:59 mark.
“Jackson has been doing a great job out there getting in the goalie’s eyes,” Perunovich said. “I saw an opening and the goalie didn’t see a thing because of him. If he’s not there doing that perfect job, I’m not shooting that puck.”
Noah Cates, with assists from Perunovich and Jackson, pulled UMD within one with 1:08 to go with the extra attacker.
The Bulldogs outshot the River Hawks 17-1 during the third period, thanks in part to its play on the man advantage.
While UMD coach Scott Sandelin said he liked what he saw in the third, he would have liked to see that in the first period, as well.
“I wish we would have had a little more of that urgency in the first period when we had the the first power play to take the lead,” Sandelin said. “There were some better things in the third, but it’s not good enough. It’s not good enough. One period in the game usually doesn’t get you a win.”
Thumbs down to UMD’s lack of urgency early on
It was tough for Sandelin to be encouraged by his team’s effort in the third period on Friday after the way it performed in the first two periods.
The urgency just wasn’t there at the start, and the shot chart showed it.
Despite dominating possession in the first period, the Bulldogs attempted just 15 shots and only four reached the Lowell net. They got 13 of 21 through in the second period without holding the puck as long, and then dominated the third, holding the River Hawks to three attempts and a single shot on goal.
UMD attempted 32 shots in the third, getting 17 on net.
“We need to play better, you can’t play just one period,” Sandelin said. “It’s not good enough. We need to come out and clean up some things and play better tomorrow. It’s that simple.”