NORTH ANDOVER -- Saturday night, the UMass Lowell hockey team hit the road for a Hockey East matchup at Merrimack College on the back end of a home and home series.
With six regulars out of the lineup, the undermanned River Hawks achieved their goal of sweeping their long time rival with a 4-0 shutout on goals by Adam Chapie, Shayne Thompson, Chris Maniccia, Evan Campbell, and a two assist effort by Michael Kapla.
The River Hawks are 18-7-2 overall, 8-4-1 in Hockey East.
The River Hawks, fresh off of their 4-2 victory over the Warriors, were expecting a stronger effort from MC and they got it.
On an Adam Chapie breakaway, the winger was hooked from behind and was awarded a penalty shot and made it count with a high wrister over Merrimack goaltender's Sam Marotta's glove hand giving the River Hawks a 1-0 lead.
The penalty shot goal was UMass Lowell's first since Doug Nolan achieved the feat in 1996 against Northeastern University.
Chapie said he had a plan before attempting the shot but had to change his strategy as he skated in on Merrimack goaltender Sam Marotta.
"Really, I just wanted to hit the net. My original thought was to go blocker side but the goalie (Marotta) did a great job taking it away so I used a last minute decision to go glove side and I'm glad it hit the post and went in."
The second period saw UML's Shayne Thompson strike at 40 seconds into the stanza when he stepped out of the penalty box, received a pass from Kapla and sprinted into the Merrimack zone before depositing the disc behind Marotta. Christian Folin received the secondary assist and the River Hawks had a 2-0 lead.
UML saw their efforts come to fruition again 15:18 into the period as Chris Maniccia deflected a Dylan Zink shot past Marotta putting his club ahead 3-0.
Evan Campbell put UMass Lowell ahead by four goals, 14:12 into the stanza on the power play. Kapla and Michael Folin assisted on the insurance marker.
After the victory UML coach Norm Bazin was happy to see his squad emerge with the sweep over their long time rival.
"I'm very pleased with our effort tonight," Bazin said. "There were several key moments to the game. I thought our penalty shot relieved some tension early. I thought Merrimack came out firing on all cylinders. We expected that. I thought we got contributions throughout our lineup and several key goals and solid goaltending along with a power play goal so we had a lot of things to be pleased with."