LOWELL, Mass. – Derek Arnold scored 1:50 into overtime to lift top-seeded UMass Lowell against eighth-seeded Maine 2-1 on Friday night in the Hockey East Tournament quarterfinal in front of 5,399 at the Tsongas Center.
With the win, UMass Lowell improved to 24-10-2 and booked its place in the tournament semifinal Friday at the TD Garden, time and opponent to be determined.
UMass Lowell’s win total ranks tied for third in its Division I history. The River Hawks went 26-10-4 in 1995-96 and 25-10-5 in 1993-94, head coach Norm Bazin’s senior year. The victory was UMass Lowell’s 10th in its past 11 games.
Maine ended its season with an 11-19-8 record.
UMass Lowell’s trip to the semifinal is its first since the 2008-09 season when it defeated Northeastern 3-2 in the semifinal en route to a 1-0 loss to Boston University.
UMass Lowell outshot the Black Bears 37-19 as goalie Connor Hellebuyck stopped 18 shots to improve to 16-2-0.
The winner came via Scott Wilson, who drove the left side on a 2-on-1 break with Christian Folin on the right. Wilson crossed to Folin, but Maine goalkeeper Martin Ouellete read it well and thwarted the attempt.
With Ouellette out of the play, Michael Fallon batted the puck down and got a soft touch on it, but Arnold pounced and tipped home.
Maine struck first on a power play 7:51 into the second period when Ryan Lomberg won a faceoff in the right circle which went to Devin Shore, who slapped home through a screen in front of Hellebuyck.
UMass Lowell maintained its composure, however, and scored the equalizer 4:00 into the third period. Wilson attempted a wraparound, but was stopped by Ouellette. Fallon was there, however, to poke home the loose puck.
Ouellette stopped 35 shots.