LOWELL, Mass. -- Good evening and welcome to the Paul E. Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell where the fourth-ranked River Hawks are ready to entertain the Penn State Nittany Lions for the first time ever in the opening half of a weekend series. Game time is set for 7:15 p.m. from the Mill City.
UML is in the midst of a five-game unbeaten streak (4-0-1) after earning three points last weekend against Northeastern, including a dominant 5-0 road shutout Saturday night at Matthews Arena. Freshman Jeff Smith made 20 saves in the contest, just his third career start, and registered his first shutout.
18 different River Hawks have scored goals this year, including rookie Jake Kamrass and senior Jake Suter who each recorded their first six nights ago at Northeastern. That number ranks second in Division 1 hockey to St. Lawrence, which has received goals from 20 different players through its first ten games.
The River Hawks welcomed Michigan and Michigan State to Lowell for the first time ever three weeks ago, so tonight's game marks the third Big Ten opposition to make its inaugural visit this year. UML was an 8-4 loser to Michigan on Oct. 24, but recovered in a 2-1 win over the Spartans the following night.
Penn State is coming off a bye week but earned a pair of come-from-behind 3-2 victories over Bentley on Oct. 30 and 31. Senior Taylor Holstrom is the team's leading scorer with three goals and eight assists through seven games, including a late game-tying goal in the back half of the Bentley series.
PSU is playing their fifth and sixth consecutive games against foes from Massachusetts this weekend after sweeping Atlantic Hockey foes Holy Cross and the Falcons. Tonight marks the third all-time meeting between the River Hawks and Nittany Lions as the teams met in University Park one year ago with UML coming out as 4-0 and 3-2 winners.
Here are tonight's lines:
NITTANY LIONS (5-1-2, 0-0-0-0 B1G)
David Goodwin - Taylor Holstrom - Casey Bailey
James Robinson - Scott Conway - Eric Scheid
Curtis Loik - Kenny Brooks - Tommy Olczyk
Ricky DeRosa - Max Gardiner - Jacob Friedman
Luke Juha - Erik Autio
Nate Jensen - Peter Sweetland
Patrick Koudys - David Thompson
RIVER HAWKS (6-1-2, 4-0-1 Hockey East)
A.J. White - Evan Campbell - Terrence Wallin
C.J. Smith - Joe Gambardella - John Edwardh
Robert Francis - Chris Maniccia - Adam Chapie
Michael Fallon - Michael Colantone - Gage Hough
Zack Kamrass - Tyler Mueller
Dylan Zink - Michael Kapla
Tommy Panico - Jake Suter