The UMass Lowell River Hawks head to the TD Garden looking to defend their 2013 Hockey East Tournament crown today when they take on Notre Dame at 5 p.m. in the Hockey East semifinals.
While Lowell mustered just three goals combined in last year’s semifinals and final, then-freshman goalie Connor Hellebuyck, of Commerce, Mich., stopped 70-of-71 shots in those two games en route to earning Tournament MVP honors.
Senior forward Derek Arnold of Foxboro had the lone goal in last year’s championship game, a 1-0 win over Boston University in Jack Parker’s final game behind the BU bench.
Notre Dame enters its first-ever Hockey East semifinals with an 8-1-1 record over their last ten games, including three wins at Conte Forum over Boston College.
Senior forward T.J. Tynan has six assists through four playoff games this season to lead the Irish, while senior forward Bryan Rust has contributed four goals and an assist for five points in the postseason.
ND won last year’s CCHA Tournament, and they are looking to become the first team in college hockey history to win back-to-back titles in different conferences.
SCOUTING THE HAWKS
UMass Lowell (23-10-4, 11-6-3 HEA) comes into Hockey East Championship weekend ranked No. 7 in both national polls and the Pairwise Rankings.
The River Hawks own a 8-3-2 record in their last 13 games. Senior forward Joseph Pendenza, of Wilmington, is the team’s leading scorer with 25 points (13 goals, 12 assists) in 37 games.
Senior Doug Carr, of Hanover, and sophomore Hellebuyck have split time in the River Hawks net this season, starting in 12 and 25 games, respectively.
Hellebuyck leads the team with 15 wins, but Carr owns a 75 percent winning percentage.
Carr has only one loss in his last 10 starts for the River Hawks.
Hellebuyck leads the nation in GAA (1.87) and save percentage (.938). Hellebuyck has started 13 of the last 15 games for the River Hawks.