Wisconsin goalie Joel Rumpel watched intently as UMass-Lowell’s Josh Holmstrom took a shot.

Jim Cole •Associated Press ,

New Hampshire’s Dalton Speelman fired a shot to score past Denver’s Paul Phillips and goalie Juho Olkinuora.

JIM COLE • Associated Press ,

NCAA hockey: Wisconsin, Denver lose in Northeast Regional

  • Article by: ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • March 30, 2013 - 12:10 AM

Connor Hellebuyck stopped a first-period penalty shot and finished with 31 saves to help Massachusetts-Lowell rout Wisconsin 6-1 on Friday night in the NCAA Northeast Regional semifinals in Manchester, N.H.

Six different players — Joseph Pendaza, Christian Folin, Shayne Thompson, Derek Arnold, Adam Chapie and Ryan McGrath — scored for the top-seeded River Hawks (27-10-2).

UMass-Lowell will play New Hampshire on Saturday for spot in the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh.

The River Hawks survived being outshot 11-4 in the first period, then pounced on Wisconsin’s mistakes in the second and third periods, turning a close game into a blowout.

“Our team bent, but it never broke in the first period and I felt our goaltending gave us a chance,” UMass-Lowell coach Norm Bazin said.

Nic Kerdiles scored for fourth-seeded Wisconsin (22-13-7) in the third period, ending Hellebuyck’s shutout streak at 165 minutes, 20 seconds, and cutting the River Hawks lead to 3-1.

“[Hellebuyck] has been playing unbelievable for us. He’s been our rock back there,” forward Scott Wilson said. “When you see one go by, you know it’s not going to faze him and you know the next shift he’s ready to go again.”

Joel Rumpel made 20 saves for the Badgers, who took a six-game winning streak into their first NCAA tournament since losing to Boston College in the 2010 championship game.

“They’re young men. They want to do so well. I think it’s part of their growth,” Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves said. “Sometimes young men get out of their comfort zone and do things that they shouldn’t. We paid a high price for it.”

New Hampshire 5, Denver 2: Casey Thrush scored twice as the Wildcats (20-11-7) rallied to beat the Pioneers in the second Northeast Regional semifinal in Manchester.

Trevor van Riemsdyk, Dalton Speelman and John Henrion also scored for New Hampshire, which was outshot 19-14 in the first period then played stifling defense over the final 40 minutes.

Casey DeSmith finished with 31 saves for New Hampshire.

Daniel Doremus and Quentin Shore scored for the Pioneers (20-14-5), who had only 14 shots in the final two periods.

New Hampshire tied the score at 2-all on van Riemsdyk’s power-play goal 5:26 into the second period, then took the lead on Speelman’ goal with 22 seconds left in the period.

It was a chippy game full of shoving and a few punches after the whistle, then got ugly early when Denver’s Nick Shore received a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct 50 seconds into the third for a hit to the head on Kevin Goumas.

The Pioneers held the Wildcats to two shots during the long penalty, but New Hampshire added to its lead a few minutes after the power play ended when Henrion scored with 11:11 left.

Denver had an opening to get back in it with a 34-second 5-on-3 man advantage, but DeSmith got a piece of one shot with his glove, then blocked another with his stick and the Wildcats easily killed the remaining 1:26 of the second penalty.

Trailing 4-2, the Pioneers pulled goalie Juho Olkinuora with a few minutes to play and Thrush scored into the empty net with 2:20 left.

The Pioneers are 1-6 in the NCAA tournament since winning back-to-back titles in 2004 and ‘05.

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