Notre Dame hockey: Irish stopped by UMass-Lowell

Staff reports
ND Insider

BOSTON -- The Notre Dame hockey team knew it would have a tough test in facing second-seeded UMass-Lowell in the opening Hockey East semifinal game on Friday afternoon at TD Garden in Boston.

The Irish had lost a pair of regular season games to the River Hawks in November by 1-0 and 3-1 scores with Lowell goaltender Connor Hellebuyck stopping 74 of 75 shots in that sweep.

The Irish still haven't solved Hellebuyck. The River Hawks goaltender stopped all 35 shots he faced to record his second shutout of the season against Notre Dame, as he blanked the Irish, 4-0, to send UMass-Lowell into the Hockey East Championship game on Saturday against the winner of the Providence College-New Hampshire semifinal.

The first team all-Hockey East selection finished the season stopping 109 of 110 shots against Notre Dame in three games.

The River Hawks got single goals from Christian Folin, Derek Arnold, Evan Campbell and Zack Kamrass in the win. The Irish outshot UMass-Lowell, 35-22 with Steven Summerhays making 18 saves in the Notre Dame goal.

The loss drops the No. 8/10 Irish to 23-14-2 on the season and they will now wait for Sunday's NCAA Selection Show on ESPNU at noon to see where their season will continue next week. UMass-Lowell, ranked seventh in each poll, goes to 24-10-4.

The Irish got off to a slow start in the opening period as they couldn't seem to get started against the River Hawks stifling defense that seemed to frustrate the Notre Dame attack.

"It was definitely frustrating tonight," said Irish alternate captain T.J. Tynan.

"I thought they played a great game. Giving up two goals like that was frustrating, but you have to give them credit. Even though we got off to a sluggish start, they played tight defense all night."

Tynan added, "I thought we were ready and I thought we were focused. I'm not sure why it was but against a team like that you can't get off to a sluggish start."

UMass-Lowell opened the scoring at 10:13 of the opening period when Folin's shot from the right point went off Irish defenseman Kevin Lind's skate and deflected past Summerhays to make it 1-0.

Less than four minutes later, the River Hawks built the lead to 2-0 when Arnold whipped a wrist shot from the right circle over Summerhays' glove for his 11th of the season.

"Lowell did a great job and they always do through the neutral zone. That's where the game was really determined," said ND head coach Jeff Jackson.

"I thought we made some mistakes at both blue lines that cost us. That's something that we've been pretty good at over the last month but we weren't as sharp as T.J. (Tynan) said. They obviously deserve a lot of credit for the way they played too."

UMass-Lowell took advantage of a pair of power plays to make it 4-0 after two periods.

With David Gerths off for holding at 3:16 of the second period, the River Hawks made it 3-0 just 19 seconds into the penalty as Campbell was in the right place at the right time at the top of the crease to stuff a rebound past Summerhays for his eighth goal of the year.

The River Hawks made it 4-0 with their second power-play goal of the game at 13:21 with the help of another Irish defender's skate. Eric Johnson went off for interference at 12:21 and Kamrass would get the goal as he skated down the left wing boards and threw the puck in front looking for a deflection. The puck would go off of Stephen Johns in front past Summerhays to give Kamrass the unassisted goal, his third of the season.

In the third period, it was all about Hellebuyck as he held the Irish at bay, making 15 of his 35 saves in the final period to preserve the win.

Notre Dame had just one power-play chance in the game and was 0-for-1. The River Hawks had three chances and scored twice. Six of Lowell's eight goals against the Irish this season came on the power as the River Hawks finished the year going 6-for-12 with the man-advantage against Notre Dame.

Notre Dame00 0 -- 0
UMass-Lowell22 0 -- 4

Scoring

1st Period: UML: Christian Folin 6 (A.J. White, Joe Pendenza), 10:13; UML: Derek Arnold 11 (Zack Kamrass), 13:54.

Penalties: ND: 0 for 0 minutes; UML: 0 for 0 minutes.

2nd Period: UML: Evan Campbell 8 (Scott Wilson, Folin), PPG, 3:35; UML: Kamrass 3 (unassisted), PPG, 13:21.

Penalties: ND: 3 for 6 minutes; UML: 1 for 2 minutes.

3rd Period: No Scoring.

Penalties: ND: 0 for 0 minutes; UML: 0 for 0 minutes.

Shots On Goal:

Notre Dame10-11-15 -- 35
Massachusetts-Lowell9-10-3 -- 22

Goaltender Saves:

ND: Steven Summerhays7-8-3 -- 18
UML: Connor Hellebuyck10-11-15 -- 35

Power Plays: ND: 0 for 1, UML: 1 for 3

Attendance: 11,143

Massachusetts-Lowell's Derek Arnold raises his arms after scoring on Notre Dame goalie Steven Summerhays during the first period of Friday's Hockey East semifinal game in Boston. (AP Photo/CHARLES KRUPA)