LOWELL, Mass. -- Tonight marks the start of the first back-to-back weekend for No. 13 Quinnipiac (1-0-0) and No. 9 UMass Lowell as the two 2013 Frozen Four participants meet for just the fourth time ever on this Friday evening at Tsongas Center.
Before QU swept a home-and-home series with a pair of 3-1 victories 52 weeks ago, the programs had clashed just once before in 2008. The Bobcats ended up finishing 5-1-2 against Hockey East opponents with their lone loss coming to Providence in the NCAA East Regional in Bridgeport, Conn. on March 28.
Both teams got out to victorious starts in their home rinks last weekend and rose in the national polls as a result.
The River Hawks did so in Hockey East league play, scoring a 5-2 win over Boston College a week ago here in the Mill City. The visitors scored less than 2:30 into the game, but three unanswered goals to close the first period and ten saves from UMass junior transfer Kevin Boyle in the final frame were plenty for an eventual season-opening victory.
The following night, the Bobcats were 5-3 winners over Bentley. Sophomore Sam Anas scored the game-winner just 37 seconds into the third period and is one of just five skaters in the country with a pair of goals in the third thus far. Junior Michael Garteig, who set a QU school record with six shutouts last season, was needed for just 14 saves in defeating the Falcons.
Here are tonight's lines:
Sam Anas - Matthew Peca - Tanner MacMaster
Andrew Taverner - Travis St. Denis - Landon Smith
K.J. Tiefenwerth - Canon Pieper - Bo Pieper
Brayden Sherbinin - Tim Clifton - Tommy Schutt
Dan Federico - Connor Clifton
Derek Smith - Justin Agosta
Devon Toews - Alex Barron
Robert Francis - Chris Maniccia - Gage Hough
C.J. Smith - Joe Gambardella - Michael Louria
A.J. White - Evan Campbell - Terrence Wallin
Jake Kamrass - Michael Fallon - Michael Colantone
Zack Kamrass - Tyler Mueller
Tommy Panico - Jake Suter
Dylan Zink - Michael Kapla