The UMass-Lowell River Hawks entered the third period of Saturday's Hockey East contest with Northeastern at the Tsongas Center with a -9 goal differential in the final stanza this season, but they were able to add another tally to the board en route to a 2-0 victory in the first meeting of the season between the teams.
NU held a slight 15-14 edge in third period shots, but was unable to capitalize on the scoreboard in support of senior Chris Rawlings, who made 27 saves in falling to an even 5-5-0 on the season.
With the victory, the River Hawks leap into a tie for the eighth position in the league standings and now sit at 3-6-1 with seven points. Freshman Connor Hellebuyck posted 25 saves as he earned his first-collegiate shutout as well as the first by a River Hawk since Doug Carr turned the trick at Merrimack last Feb. 10. UML's five-game unbeaten streak in the all-time series was extended, dating back to Feb. 4, 2011.
After NU senior captain Vinny Saponari's early shot was somehow stopped by Hellebuyck as he fell on his front side and was able to push the puck away, keeping the game scoreless.
At 6:57, freshman Ryan McGrath picked up his second goal of the season (after assisting on Colantone's in the second period), taking a pass from senior captain Riley Wetmore to beat NU senior netminder Chris Rawlings under the five-hole.
Joshua Kummins is the Hockey East beat writer and a weekend editor for SB Nation Boston. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.