PITTSBURGH (AP) — Senior Andrew Miller scored the game-winning goal 6:59 into overtime as Yale defeated UMass Lowell, 3-2, last night in the NCAA Frozen Four semifinal at the Consol Energy Center.
With the loss, UMass Lowell ends its best season in its Division I history with a 28-11-2 record, which included the Hockey East regular season and tournament titles as well as the NCAA Northeast Region Championship.
Yale (21-12-3) moves on to the NCAA championship Saturday (7 p.m.) against Quinnipiac, which beat St. Cloud State in the nightcap yesterday.
UMass Lowell coach Norm Bazin said, “Certainly as far as we’re concerned, I’m proud of this group for this season. But tonight, we certainly didn’t have it.”
UMass Lowell, which had surrendered only 18 first period goals this season, gave away two to the Bulldogs, but did well to even the score in the second period.
Yale also outshot UMass Lowell, 47-18, the latter a season-low for the River Hawks and a season-high for shots surrendered. Freshman Connor Hellebuyck stopped 44 shots, also a high for the season, while senior Jeff Malcolm had 16 saves.
Miller scored the winner 6:59 into the extra session when he took a pass from freshman Carson Cooper, went in alone on Hellebuyck, faked a backhand and slipped it in underneath.
Yale opened the scoring 12:55 into the first period in the closing seconds of a power play when freshman defenseman Mitch Witek left fly from the right point and beat Hellebuyck to his glove side.
Yale doubled its lead with 51 seconds remaining. Sophomore forward Matt Killian attempted to sneak in a shot from the right endline, which Hellebuyck poked free, but senior forward Antoine Laganiere was there for the putback.
At 14:38 of the second period, River Hawks senior forward Derek Arnold wristed into the slot where Riley Wetmore, stationed in front of the net with his back to the goal, back handed to his right past Malcolm’s stick side.
Nearly off the ensuing faceoff, UMass Lowell freshman forward A.J. White raced down the right side and dropped off for junior forward Joe Pendenza, who beat Malcolm with a wrist shot inside the far post at 14:52.
A scoreless third period saw Yale build a 16-3 shots-on-target edge.
The loss also halted a seven game winning streak for the River Hawks, who return all but three seniors — Wetmore, Colin Wright (Burlington, Ont.) and Malcolm Lyles.