UMass Lowell Hockey
UMass Lowell has a rich history when it comes to hockey. From their early days as a club team in the 1970s to their current status as a Division I program, the River Hawks have had their fair share of memorable moments. Over the years, there have been historic upsets and unexpected victories that have solidified UMass Lowell’s place in the world of hockey. In this article, we will take a look at some of the most unforgettable moments in UMass Lowell hockey history.
The Journey to Division I
Before we dive into specific games and moments, it’s important to understand the journey that UMass Lowell hockey has taken to get to where they are today. The program began in the 1970s as a club team, playing against small colleges and other club teams in the area. It wasn’t until the mid-1980s that UMass Lowell made the jump to Division II, and in 1986, they became a Division I program. This move opened up the doors for the River Hawks to compete against some of the top college hockey programs in the country.
1996: Defeating Boston College in the Frozen Four
In 1996, UMass Lowell made their first-ever appearance in the NCAA Frozen Four, facing off against powerhouse Boston College. The River Hawks were considered the underdogs in this matchup, as Boston College was the number-one ranked team in the country. But UMass Lowell wasn’t backing down. They came out strong and took a 3-0 lead in the first period. Boston College managed to score two goals, but the River Hawks held on to earn a 3-2 victory and advance to the national championship game.
A Rivalry Against Boston University
The UMass Lowell hockey team has had a long-standing rivalry with Boston University, with the two schools playing each other multiple times per season. Throughout the years, these games have been filled with intense competition and memorable moments. One of the most notable games in this rivalry occurred in 2000, when UMass Lowell upset Boston University in the Hockey East semi-finals, beating them 6-3. This victory was the first time in 20 years that UMass Lowell had beaten Boston University in a playoff game.
2009: The Rise of Jack Parker Arena
In 2008, Jack Parker Arena was built, bringing a new era of hockey to UMass Lowell. The arena was named after Boston University’s legendary coach, Jack Parker, who coached for 40 years and had close ties with UMass Lowell. This new arena provided a state-of-the-art facility for the River Hawks and became a place that teams dreaded playing in. In 2009, UMass Lowell had their first sellout crowd in their new arena, proving that they had a strong fan base and a bright future ahead.
2013: A Historic Season and First Frozen Four Appearance
The 2012–2013 season was one for the record books for UMass Lowell. The team went on an unprecedented 14-game unbeaten streak, which included two victories over Boston College and four over Boston University. This season also saw the River Hawks earn their first-ever Hockey East regular-season championship and their second Hockey East tournament championship. Their success earned them a spot in the Frozen Four, where they faced off against Yale University. Though they ultimately lost, the team’s accomplishments that season will never be forgotten.
2017: UMass Lowell’s First NCAA Tournament Win
In 2017, UMass Lowell finally broke their NCAA tournament win drought with a 3-2 victory over Cornell. This game was a back-and-forth battle, with the River Hawks scoring the game-winning goal with just over a minute left in the third period. This win was not only UMass Lowell’s first-ever NCAA tournament victory, but it also solidified their place as an up-and-coming program in the world of college hockey.
The Future of UMass Lowell Hockey
As we can see from these memorable moments in UMass Lowell hockey history, the program has come a long way over the years. With a new state-of-the-art facility and a growing fan base, the future looks bright for the River Hawks. And with the recent hiring of new head coach Norm Bazin, who has had great success at other programs, there is much anticipation for what is to come. Fans of UMass Lowell hockey can look forward to more historic upsets and memorable wins in the years to come.