C.J. Smith nets two, UMass Lowell rolls
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Freshman forward C.J. Smith tied a career high with two goals to lead No. 9 UMass Lowell to a 5-1 victory against Sacred Heart on Saturday afternoon at Webster Bank Arena in the opening game of the Frozen Holiday Classic.
With the victory, the River Hawks improve to 11-3-3 overall on the season, while Sacred Heart falls to 5-10-2. The UMass Lowell senior class of Zack Kamrass, Jake Suter and Terrence Wallin became the winningest class in school history with their 89th win in four seasons, surpassing the 1996 senior class total of 88 victories.
With 38.8 seconds left in the first period, sophomore defenseman Dylan Zink skated into the offensive zone and beat Sacred Heart goaltender Alex Vazzano on the power play with a wrist shot for his fourth goal of the season to get the River Hawks on the scoreboard first.
Sacred Heart tied the game at 1-1 with a goal just 6:38 into the second frame on a goal by Zach Sabatini. Smith gave the River Hawks a 2-1 lead with 30.1 seconds left in the middle period with a slapshot from the slot, which beat Vazzano high blocker side. Smith scored his sixth goal of the season off a pass from freshman forward Michael Louria in the left corner.
Junior forward Michael Fallon extended the River Hawks lead to 3-1 with 13:03 left in the third period off a feed from Michael Kapla, who faked a shot in the slot and then shuffled the puck to Fallon, which beat Vazzano below his blocker. Smith added his second goal of the game and Kamrass added another with under four minutes remaining to seal the win for the River Hawks. Smith finished the game with a game-high six shots on goal.
The River Hawks outshot the Pioneers 46-22 for the game, including a 14-7 edge in the opening period and a 15-6 advantage in the second frame.
UMass Lowell junior goaltender Kevin Boyle registered 21 saves in his 51st career start and eighth win of the season, while Vazzano made 41 stops in the losing effort for Sacred Heart.
Kamrass skated in his 125th career contest in the game. Sophomore forward Evan Campbell went 10-for-15 (67 percent) in the faceoff dot in the win for UMass Lowell.
• Box score