New Hampshire was without forwards Grayson Downing and Kevin Goumas, who both took hits to the head Friday in a 5-2 win over Denver. Goumas led the Wildcats in points with 42 points, and Downing tied for the team high in goals with 15.
With two of its top three scorers out of the lineup, New Hampshire struggled against UMass-Lowell’s tight checking. When the Wildcats did get a decent scoring chance, Hellebuyck was always there to stop it.
DeSmith matched Hellebuyck almost save-for-save until Wilson poked in his own rebound near the end of the second period. New Hampshire remained within a goal until late in the third when Chapie skated the puck the length of the ice, got around defenseman Brett Kostolansky and lifted a backhand between DeSmith’s pad and blocker with 6:02 left to play.
“I don’t even remember how it got on my tape, but it ended up there,” Chapie said. “I just tried to drive wide and get the puck to the net. It just happened to go in.
The UMass-Lowell fans who made the 30-mile trip north started chanting “U-M-L! U-M-L!” as the time ticked away. New Hampshire pulled DeSmith with less than 3 minutes to go but the extra skater was little help against the River Hawks’ defense.
“Two goals they say is the worst lead in hockey. You’ve still got to work hard and we knew that UNH was going to come back,” Chapie said. “We stuck together and at the end of the game we had a huge shift from all our guys on the ice, blocking shots and trying to get it out. And our goaltender was playing unbelievable.”