MANCHESTER, N.H. — Connor Hellebuyck stopped a first-period penalty shot and finished with 31 saves to help UMass-Lowell rout Wisconsin 6-1 on Friday night in the NCAA Northeast Regional semifinals.
Joseph Pendaza, Christian Folin, Shayne Thompson, Derek Arnold, Adam Chapie and Ryan McGrath scored for the top-seeded River Hawks (27-10-2). They will play Denver or New Hampshire on Saturday for spot in the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh.
Nic Kerdiles scored for fourth-seeded Wisconsin (22-13-7) in the third period, ending Hellebuyck’s shutout streak at 165 minutes, 20 seconds.
Joel Rumpel made 20 saves for the Badgers. They took a six-game winning streak into their first NCAA tournament since losing to Boston College in the 2010 championship game.
Rumpel had almost no offensive support as the Badgers failed to capitalize on the few mistakes made by Hellebuyck, mostly rebounds that were swept away before any Wisconsin player could get to the puck.
Kerdiles pulled Wisconsin to 3-1 with 11:41 left in the third on a power-play goal. It was the first goal allowed by Hellebuyck since 11:01 remained in the first period of the River Hawks’ 2-1 win over Providence in the Hockey East semifinals a week ago.
Arnold scored for UMass-Lowell with 6:04 left, Chapie added an empty-netter in the final minute and McGrath finished it off with 3 seconds to play.
Thompson put UMass-Lowell up 3-0 when he scored just before crashing into Rumpel with 5:52 left in the second. Thompson, the net, goalie and Wisconsin defenseman Jefferson Dahl, who was trying to catch up to Thompson, all went sliding into the boards in a pile.
The goal withstood a video review that showed Thompson getting off the shot before making any contact with Rumpel or the net.
UMass-Lowell is playing in its second straight NCAA tournament and fifth overall.