BOSTON -- On a rainy Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park, the UMass Lowell hockey team faced off against Northeastern University in a special event dubbed "Frozen Fenway."

And while Fenway was more slushy than frozen on this day, the teams got through the contest before a decent crowd with the Huskies pulling out a 4-1 win over the River Hawks.

UML is now 14-5-1 overall and 4-2-0 in Hockey East while NU improved to 11-6-3 overall, 5-4-1 HE.

Despite the loss, UML senior Joe Pendenza said playing at Fenway Park is an experience he will never forget.

"It was pretty cool," said Pendenza.

UMass Lowell’s Ryan McGrath battles Northeastern’s Matt Benning  and the outdoor elements  as he digs a puck out from the corner in
UMass Lowell's Ryan McGrath battles Northeastern's Matt Benning and the outdoor elements as he digs a puck out from the corner in Saturday's special Hockey East game at Fenway Park. SUN/JULIA MALAKIE

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"(Friday) at practice, I took it all in. It's pretty cool to be on the same field where the Red Sox won the World Series and seeing the Green Monster. I'm a local guy (Wilmington) and I've come here a number of times so to come here and play is something I'll remember for the rest of my life. It would have been better if we could go home with a win but Northeastern played well. It's still a memorable moment, though."

UMass Lowell coach Norm Bazin echoed his player's sentiments.

"It was a wonderful experience," Bazin said. "It's Fenway, it's a historic park and a unique experience. It was a terrific experience. The conditions were difficult today. We thought we could get through it but we couldn't capitalize. It wasn't meant to be today.



NU goaltender Clay Witt stopped all but one of the 47 shots UML sent his way and Huskies forward Braden Pimm scored twice to lead NU, playing down the street from its campus.

The game started slowly as both teams appeared to have trouble with the weather and ice conditions but the River Hawks began to take control as the first period progressed. They put sustained pressure on Witt but could not put the puck past him.

At the other end, UML puckstopper Doug Carr matched Witt save for save.

Northeastern struck first when Pimm scored 7:22 into the frame. Just 1:21 later, Bruins draftee Matt Benning gave NU a 2-0 lead with a power-play marker. The Huskies took a 3-0 lead when captain Josh Manson scored a shorthanded goal at the 15:49 mark.

The River Hawks found the back of the net when defenseman Zack Kamrass scored from the top of the left faceoff circle. His goal was set up by Joe Pendenza.

The third period saw UMass Lowell pull out all the stops and put 17 shots on Witt but he withstood the assault while Pimm added a fourth Northeastern tally into an empty net at 17:44 of the frame.

Northeastern coach Jim Madigan expressed his pleasure at having the opportunity to have his team play in Fenway.

"It was a great game and obviously, a great venue for our kids to be part of. We're in the same community as Fenway Park. Our kids are over here an awful lot during the spring, summertime, and the fall watching games and to be able to play in it is a great opportunity and a great experience. The experience and the memory is lasting."

Northeastern's Witt said he will talk about playing this contest at Fenway Park for years to come.

"It's amazing," said the netminder. "It's really exciting and something I'll tell my grandchildren about."

The River Hawks return to the "frozen" ice at the Tsongas Center Friday night for a Hockey East contest against Maine.

Shawn Hutcheon's email is