Campbell goal helps Lowell tie Quinnipiac

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Evan Campbell evened the game late in the third period as Quinnipiac and Massachusetts-Lowell skated to a 3-3 tie at High Point Solutions Arena on Saturday night.

Campbell’s late goal was his second of the game, leading the River Hawks offense. Michael Kapla also had a goal and an assist in the game. Goaltender Kevin Boyle made 35 saves, including eight in overtime, to push his record to 2-0-1 on the year.

“I didn’t think we had the same energy as we did last night,” said Lowell coach Norm Bazin. “But I liked our net front execution and I thought we made the most of our chances and I thought [Boyle] played well.”

Landon Smith netted the first two goals of his collegiate career for the Bobcats, and Sam Anas added two assists. Sean Lawrence stopped 19 shots in his first career start for Quinnipiac.

The River Hawks grabbed the lead midway through the first period with Campbell’s first goal of the night. After a defensive zone turnover by Quinnipiac, Campbell gathered the puck in the low slot and beat Lawrence low to the glove side.

Quinnipiac answered on a power play less than five minutes later on Smith’s first career goal. Matthew Peca gained the offensive zone and skated down the right wing. Just after passing the goal line, Peca backhanded a pass into the slot that deflected off Anas’ stick and right to Smith, who chipped it past Boyle for the goal.

Lowell capitalized on another Quinnipiac turnover a few minutes later to regain the lead.

“All the way through, we just haven’t been very good defensively,” said Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold. “We need to make more saves and we’ve turned the puck over so we need to be better.”

Dylan Zink picked up the puck low in the offensive zone following the turnover and found Kapla at the right point. Kapla then wristed a shot to the top left side of the net to put the River Hawks back on top 2-1. Despite being outshot, 11-5, in the period, the River Hawks took the lead into the intermission, something that pleased Bazin.

“It was a feeling of uproar,” said Bazin. “A lot of these new guys are just trying to feel their way through their first road game. For our first road game, I was pleased that they got experience and more importantly got a point.”

The score remained that way until Justin Agosta scored his second goal in as many games early in the third on a power play. After working the puck around the offensive zone, Derek Smith found Agosta positioned in the high slot. Agosta’s shot beat Boyle low to the blocker side to even the game.

Quinnipiac grabbed its first lead of the night on Smith’s second of the game just past the midway point of the period. Smith picked up a rebound off a Devon Toews shot and backhanded it into a gaping hole on Boyle’s glove side.

“Honestly, I can’t take any credit for either one of [the goals],” said Smith. “I was on the ice with some good hockey players and they seem to make good things happen when they’re out there. I was just fortunate enough to be in the right spot at the time.”

Campbell answered with his second of the game with 1:18 to go in regulation to knot the game up at three. After pulling Boyle for the extra attacker, the River Hawks gained offensive zone possession. Campbell took a shot from a low angle that found its way between Lawrence’s left pad and the post.

“Those guys executed and I was proud of them,” said Bazin. “Getting a point that way when you can come back late in a hockey game says something about your character.”

The teams skated to a scoreless overtime, with Quinnipiac outshooting Lowell 8-1 in the extra time.

“I think we deserved a better fate than what we had tonight,” said Pecknold. “I think we deserved to win; we played well enough to win. We just didn’t have that little extra to put it away.”