LOWELL -- Stephen Buco scored the game's lone goal and Connor Hellebuyck collected his second shutout of the season as No. 16 UMass Lowell picked up a 1-0 win over No. 6 University of Notre Dame on Friday.
The 6,515 (sellout) fans who packed the Tsongas Center expecting to see a battle between two of the top-rated defensive teams in the country were not disappointed.
UML improved to 9-4-0, 3-1-0 Hockey East, while Notre Dame fell to 8-3-1, 2-1-1 HE.
"If you were a fan who showed up tonight, you got everything you wanted -- maybe a few less goals than you anticipated," said River Hawks head coach Norm Bazin. "Overall it was a good hockey game with a lot of shots and lots of opportunities for both teams. This was a playoff style hockey game -- it was close right to the very end."
The River Hawks were able to crack the Fight Irish's top-rated penalty kill when Buco finished off a play started by Adam Chapie to pick up a power-play goal at 15:46 of the first period. It was Buco's second straight game with a goal and his third of the season.
"Adam Chapie made a nice play coming in the zone, slowing up and making a nice pass over to Ryan McGrath who made a little touch pass down to me. I just had to finish off the play, a little backhand -- luckily it went in," said Buco.
The goal would prove to be enough as Hellebuyck and the River Hawks' defensive corps staved off Notre Dame's attack. Hellebuyck would finish the game with 40 saves, earning his second straight shutout and eighth of his UMass Lowell career. A sophomore, Hellebuyck is two shutouts shy of the school's all-time shutout mark.