July 29, 2014
STORRS, Conn. – The UConn men’s hockey program is gearing up for their debut in Hockey East this fall as we take a look at the 11 other programs that make up the historic conference. We hit the midway point with our team-by-team previews as we take a look at the UMass Lowell River Hawks. Season tickets for the Huskies 11-game slate at the XL Center in downtown Hartford are on sale now at UConnTickets.com.
The Huskies and River Hawks have met 25 times on the ice since the 1968-69 season with UMass Lowell owning an 18-6-1 edge in the series history. Since UConn made the jump to Division I in 1998-99, the River Hawks have won four of the five meetings between the two schools including winning the 2011 UConn Hockey Classic holiday tournament. The Huskies lone win during the Division I era came on October 18, 2011, a 3-2 overtime victory on the road at Conway Arena in Nashua, New Hampshire. UConn’s Marcello Ranallo scored the game-winner just 1:18 into overtime while goaltender Garrett Bartus turned in 39 saves in the win. The River Hawks answered back two months later with a 4-3 overtime win over the Huskies in the championship game of the UConn Hockey Classic.
In addition to their two Hockey East match-ups, UConn and UMass Lowell could potentially meet a third time in the Frozen Holiday Classic at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. UConn faces Union while UMass Lowell takes on Sacred Heart in the opening games of the tournament.
University of Massachusetts Lowell Notes:
- The University of Massachusetts Lowell is one of the founding members of Hockey East and won it’s only regular season Hockey East championship during the 2012-13 season. The River Hawks have won the Hockey East Tournament title in each of the past two seasons.
- Head Coach Norm Bazin will enter his fourth season on the bench in 2014-15 for the River Hawks. Bazin was named the Hockey East Coach of the Year in 2011 and 2012 and also earned the Spencer Penrose Award as the Division I Coach of the Year after leading UMass Lowell to the Frozen Four in 2012. Brazin played his collegiate hockey at UMass Lowell from 1990-94 and was an assistant with the River Hawks from 1996-2000. He also had a head coaching stint at Hamilton College prior to returning to his alma mater.
- The River Hawks have made six NCAA Tournament appearances since moving up to Division I in 1983-84. UMass Lowell made a run all the way to the Frozen Four in 2012 before falling in overtime to eventual national champion Yale in the semifinal. UMass Lowell won three Division II National Championships in 1979, 1981 and 1982.
- UMass Lowell finished the 2013-14 season 26-11-4 overall and 11-6-3 in Hockey East play, second in the final standings. The second seeded River Hawks posted 4-0 victories over Notre Dame (semifinal) and New Hampshire (championship) to claim their second-straight Hockey East title and third-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. The River Hawks beat Minnesota State 2-1 in the Northeast Regional in Worcester, Massachusetts but fell to Hockey East rival Boston College, 4-3, in the regional final.
- The River Hawks finished last season ranked fourth in the final USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine poll and fifth in the final USCHO.com poll.
- Sophomore goaltender Connor Hellebuyck took home the inaugural Mike Richter Award in 2013-14, given to the most outstanding goaltender in NCAA men’s hockey. He was also named a CCM Hockey First-Team All-American by the American Hockey Coaches Association last season and a Hockey East First Team All-Star. Hellebuyck posted an 18-9-2 record with a 1.79 goals against and .941 save percentage last season.
- Hellebuyck signed a three-year contract with the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League following the season, forgoing his final two years of eligibility.
- Defenseman Michael Kapla earned a spot on the Hockey East / Pro Ambitions All-Rookie team in 2013-14. He finished the season with 17 points on three goals and 14 assists with a +16 rating over 41 games.
- Senior defenseman Zack Kamrass was named team captain for the upcoming 2014-15 season. Kamrass registered 20 points on four goals and 16 assists last year.
Dec. 3rd – at UMass Lowell – Tsongas Center
Jan. 10th – vs. UMass Lowell – XL Center
All-Time Series – UMass Lowell leads, 18-6-1
First Meeting – Feb. 15, 1969 at UConn, UConn 7 – UMass Lowell 2
Last Meeting – Dec. 30, 2011 at UConn (Freitas Ice Forum), UMass Lowell 4 – UConn 3 (ot)
Joined Hockey East – 1984-85 (30 seasons)
Hockey East Titles – 1
2013-14 Record/Finish – 11-6-3 / 2nd place