LOWELL, Mass. – UMass-Lowell scored two goals in an 11 second span late in the third period as the River Hawks rallied past Bentley University for a 3-2 win Sunday night in non-conference hockey at Tsongas Arena.
Bentley took a 2-1 lead 4:25 into the third period on freshman Andrew Gladiuk's (White Rock, British Columbia/Nanaimo Clippers) 10th goal of the season, but Lowell's Stephen Buco scored at 15:38 and Ryan McGrath at 15:49 to give the hosts the lead.
Buco scored after receiving a pass on the far post from deep in the right corner from Colin Wright, and made a move around a sprawling Branden Komm (Williamsville, N.Y./Northfield Mount Hermon) for the goal. McGrath's goal, his second of the night, came right after Lowell won the ensuing face-off. McGrath took a pass behind the net and took a wraparound shot that squirted into the net.
The Falcons went on the power play with 1:47 remaining and pulled Komm with 59 seconds left for a 6-on-4 advantage, but came up empty.
Komm made 32 saves with 27 coming in the first two periods. His counterpart, junior Doug Carr, made 24 saves, including stopping a breakaway by Brett Gensler (St. Charles, Mo./Youngstown Phantoms) midway through the third period when Bentley led 2-1.
The loss drops Bentley's record to 6-9-1 overall, while the River Hawks improve to 7-7-1.
Bentley took a 1-0 lead just 3:33 into the opening period on Gensler's 11th goal of the year. Defenseman Kyle O'Brien (Tewksbury, Mass./Cushing Prep) fed Gensler in the slot, and he beat Carr with a wrist shot to the glove side.
The River Hawks appeared to have tied the score at the 12:27 mark after a scramble in front of the net, but after a lengthy review by the officials, the goal was disallowed after it was determined a Lowell player impeded Komm's progress to the puck.
Bentley had a chance to make it 2-0 in the final minute of the first when Justin Breton (Fitchburg, Mass./Boston Jr. Bruins) was given a penalty shot after being hauled down when driving in on net. Breton though was denied by a kick save by Carr.
The Falcons' 1-0 lead evaporated just 42 seconds into the second period on a power play goal by McGrath. McGrath brought the puck into the attacking zone down the right wing, and with plenty of room to get a shot off, beat Komm with a wrister low and to the glove side to tie the score.
The Falcons then took the lead back 4:25 into the third on Gladiuk's goal. Gladiuk started with the puck in UML's zone and brought it all the way into Bentley's offensive zone, where he fed sophomore Brett Switzer (Calgary, Alberta/Spruce Grove Saints) on the left wing. Switzer then quickly passed back to Gladiuk in between the face-off circles, who beat Carr to give Bentley the lead.
Bentley is back in action Saturday night when they face Northeastern at Matthews Arena. Game time is 7:00 pm.