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Updated statistics of former River Hawks playing professional hockey around the world, including players in the NHL, AHL and ECHL in North America.

COVER PHOTO Justin Soderberg



Christian Folin was the first of three River Hawks to depart Lowell early, signing a pro contract with the Minnesota Wild and forgoing his final UML years.





Following a successful season for UMass Lowell many River Hawks made the decision to sign professional contracts in the NHL, AHL or ECHL. Here is the list.


PUBLISHER Galatians Design Co.


DESIGNER/EDITOR Justin Soderberg



UMass Lowell had their best home season at the Tsongas Center this year. The River Hawks posted a .719 winning percentage at home.


NORTH AMERICA Folin exits Lowell, signs with Wild The UMass Lowell River Hawks suffered a big loss on Sunday night to Boston College and fell short of a return trip to the Frozen Four. However, the River Hawks may have suffered an even bigger loss on Monday when sophomore defenseman Christian Folin decided to forfeit his remaining two years of NCAA eligibility to sign with the National Hockey League. Folin inked a two-year entry level contract with the Minnesota Wild and will join his new team for the remainder of the regular season. In the end it came down to three teams, the Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning missed out on signing the highly sought after defenseman. “Christian is an impressive package of size, mobility, and puck-moving ability,” said Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr. “He plays a very mature game that we feel should allow him transition to the NHL very quickly. We’re very excited to have Christian join the Wild and further add to our group of emerging young players.” The Gothenburg, Sweden native decided this was the best time to make

the move from the college ranks to the professional ranks and burn a year of his ELC, moving him one step closer to signing a higher value contract. Folin spent two seasons with the UMass Lowell River Hawks of the Hockey East Association. In 79 games, the defenseman notched 12 goals and 29 assists for 41 points. Folin was part of the first ever Hockey East championship for the River Hawks in 2012-13 and repeated as champion in 2013-14.

FORMER RIVER HAWKS IN THE NHL CHRISTIAN FOLIN, Defenseman Minnesota Wild RON HAINSEY, Defenseman Carolina Hurricanes

The 23-year-old will join the Wild in Chicago for the team’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, April 3rd. Folin will be available for the remaining six regular season games for the Wild, but will not be available for the Wild’s playoff roster. This marks the second straight season UMass Lowell Head Coach Norm Bazin has seen his top defenseman take off for the NHL ranks following a deep playoff run. Last season, Chad Ruhwedel signed with the Buffalo Sabres after the River Hawks were knocked out of the Frozen Four. Oddly, the first game Ruhwedel played in the NHL was also broadcasted on NBC Sports Network. Folin becomes the first ever player to skate for the Austin Bruins of the North American Hockey league to sign a NHL contract. Photo: Justin Soderberg

CARTER HUTTON, Goaltender Nashville Predators CHAD RUHWEDEL, Defenseman Buffalo Sabres UMASS LOWELL ALUMNI REPORT: MARCH 2014 | VIEW FROM 123 | 13

JOSH HOLMSTROM SIGNS AHL TRY-OUT Josh Holmstrom has inked a ATO deal with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League on Thursday. Holmstrom was part of a great turnaround at UMass Lowell. The forward part of the 2010-11 five-win team during his freshmen year and won back-to-back Hockey East titles in his junior and senior year. The Colorado Springs, Colo. native played in 154 games over four years are UMass Lowell notching 31 goals and 43 assists for 74 points. His best season came in 2012-13 when he had 12 goals and 13 assists in 41 games, leading the River Hawks to their first ever Hockey East regular season title and tournament Championship. Prior to coming to Lowell, Holmstrom spent two seasons with the Sioux Falls Stampede in the United State Hockey League (USHL) where he had 68 points (29g, 39a) in 117 games. Holmstrom will join former River Hawk captain Riley Wetmore in the New York Islanders organization. Wetmore has spent time with the Sound Tigers this season, but is currently in the ECHL with the Stockton Thunder. The forward will also join his brother Ben Holmstrom at the AHL level, who skates for the Adirondack Phantoms.

Wilson skips senior year Yet another devastating loss to the UMass Lowell River Hawks roster for the 2014-15 season as forward Scott Wilson has decided to forgo his senior season to sign professionally with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the 2014-15 season. Wilson is the second River Hawk to opt to leave school early to sign professionally this week, following UMass Lowell’s departure from the NCAA national tournament. Christian Folin opted to not finish his two remaining seasons with the River Hawks and sign with the Minnesota Wild on Monday night. The Oakville, Ont. native was drafted by the Penguins in the seventh round (209th overall) during the 2011 National Hockey League entry draft and spent three seasons with the River Hawks. The forward joins the organization on a twoyear entry level contract. “Scott has spent three years with us and also has seen his game grow. He helped change the culture of our program and we wish him the best the Pittsburgh Penguins organization,” said UM-


ass Lowell head coach Norm Bazin to the Lowell Sun. “We hope he will return to complete the final year of his degree from this world class university.” Over his three years in Lowell, Wilson tallied 39 goals and 56 assists for 95 points in 109 games. He had identical freshmen and sophomore seasons of 16 goals and 22 assists, earning Hockey East Rookie of the Year honors his freshmen year. The forward played in only 31 of the River Hawks 41 games this season after suffering an arm injury during the middle of the season. Having suffered an injury during his junior year, many thought Wilson would return to the Bazin run River Hawks and sign with the Penguins following his senior season. Prior to joining the River Hawks, Wilson spent three seasons with the Georgetown Raiders of the Ontario Junior Hockey League where he tallied 89 points (44g, 45a) in 144 games. Photo: Justin Soderberg


from Lowell early

UMass Lowell may have been dealt their biggest blow of the offseason and it’s only been a few days since their season came to an end. Connor Hellebuyck has opted to skip his final two years of eligibility at UMass Lowell and join the Winnipeg Jets organization. Hellebuyck has signed a three-year entry level contract with the Jets worth $925,000 annually. Hellebuyck is the third River Hawk to depart school early for the professional ranks this offseason, following in the footsteps of Christian Folin and Scott Wilson who signed with the Minnesota Wild and Pittsburgh Penguins respectively this past week. The standout UMass Lowell goaltender will join the organization who drafted him in the fifth round (130th overall) during the 2012 National Hockey League entry draft. In two seasons at UMass Lowell, Hellebuyck has posted a 38-12-2 record with a 1.60 goals-against average, .946 save percentage and 12 shutouts in 54 games. He sits first in GAA (1.60), save percentage (.946), shutouts (12), and sixth in wins (38) in UMass Lowell history. Hellebuyck also owns singleseason records for best save percentage (.952) and GAA (1.37), both in 2012-13. Hellebuyck was named as Hockey East Goaltender of the Year, Tournament MVP, All-Rookie Team, and Second All-Star Team in 2012-13 and Hockey East Tournament MVP and First All-Star Team in 2013-14. The River Hawks will gravely miss their prized goaltender next season and will have to rely on Massachusetts Minutemen transfer Kevin Boyle and possible incoming recruit Jeff Smith to fill the void left by Hellebuyck’s depart and Doug Carr’s graduation.

Photo: John Corneau

CHAD RUHWEDEL GETS FIRST PRO POINT IN RETURN TO BUFFALO SABRES The Buffalo Sabres announced on March 8 that the they have recalled Chad Ruhwedel from the Rochester Americans of the AHL. This marks the third time this season Ruhwedel has been recalled by the Sabres to the NHL, his last recall came on Jan. 24 when he saw action in seven games. During Ruhwedel’s first call up he didn’t make his way into the lineup. In the NHL this season, Ruhwedel

has no points on 15 shots with a plusthree rating in seven games. Now in his second season in the Sabres organization, Ruhwedel has played in 14 NHL games after signing with the club as an undrafted free agent in April 2013. Ruhwedel is the currently the Amerk’s highest scoring defensemen having registered 25 points on four goals and 21 assists in 45 AHL games in 2013-14.

The former River Hawk tallied his first professional point with the on Friday, Apr. 4 on a power-play goal by Jamie McBain in the 2nd period of the Sabres 3-2 loss to the Detriot Red Wings. Photo: Getty Images



As 3:00 p.m. eastern time came and went, Ron Hainsey‘s name was not mentioned in any confirmed deals. It seems the defensemen will stay put with the Carolina Hurricanes for the remainder of the season. Hainsey had been rumored as one of the possible top-30 players to be moved at the 2014 National Hockey League trade deadline and with the number of teams look for top-4 defensemen, it seemed likely the veteran would be moved. However, the former UMass Lowell standout was not moved before the 3:00 p.m. eastern deadline. The Hurricanes signed Hainsey to a one-year $2 million deal at the start of the 2013-14 season when Joni Pitkanen went down with what could be a career-ending injury. The expectations for Hainsey were not very high, but most doubters have been proved wrong so far.

a suter for the defensemen, find the right deal or decided Hainsey was too good of a fit with the Hurricanes to make a deal on Wednesday. It is likely Rutherford would rather have what Hainsey brings to the Canes than deal the defensemen whose contract expires at the end of the 2013-14 season. Another factor that could’ve changed the market for Hainsey is the trade involving Andrew MacDonald. The Philadelphia Flyers sent forward Matt Mangene, 2014 3rd Round Pick and a 2015 2nd Round Pick to the New York Islanders for MacDonald on Tuesday, March 4. This sizable trade would’ve pushed Rutherford to ask more for Hainsey on the trade market. This season Hainsey has posted Hainsey has the leadership and four goals and nine assists for 13 ability to play great defense which points with 33 penalty minutes, inhave been beneficial for the Hur- cluding his first fight in two years. ricanes this season. These traits are The defensemen has also post a misomething a lot of teams could use nus-13 rating. Hainsey’s four goals is for the home stretch of the NHL sea- the most he has had since the 200910 season. son. Hainsey remains the highest ever Hurricanes general manager Jim drafted player out of UMass Lowell. Rutherford either wasn’t able to find The defensemen was taken 13th overall by the Montreal Canadiens No. AMERICAN FIGHT COUNT in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. While at UMass Lowell, Hainsey posted 47 PLAYER (TEAM) FIGHTS PIM points (13g, 34a) in 63 games from Robins (AHL) 24 214 1999-2001. Holmstrom (AHL) Sinitsyn (WHL) Hainsey (NHL) Auger (ECHL) Campbell (ECHL) Wetmore (ECHL) Lyles (SPHL)

9 3 1 1 1 1 1

137 63 39 23 11 17 21

Total Combined




Photo: Getty Images

Barry Goers finds a home in the AHL The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins announced on Wednesday, March 19 they have signed defenseman Barry Goers to an American Hockey League contract for the remainder of the 2013-14 season. Goers has made the trip to and from the WBS Penguins to the Wheeling Nailers (ECHL) many times this season, but it looks like he has found his home in Wilkes-Barre. The defenseman posted three goals and eight assists (11 points) in 25 games with the Nailers at the ECHL level this season. At the AHL level, Goers has a goal and four assists (five points) in 12 games. Over his four-year professional career, Goers has tallied 13 points (1g, 12a) with three different AHL teams. The former UMass Lowell River Hawk proved to the WBS Penguins

that he has the ability to play at the AHL level and they can use him. Goers wears No. 41 for the Penguins. During his time at UMass Lowell, Goers wasn’t much of a scorer. In total, the defensemen had 42 points (5g, 37a) over 133 games over four years. His game is his defense and his

ability to be a leader on and off the ice. Goers was an assistant captain for the River Hawks for two seasons and captain for a single season. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are the AHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

15 goals and 23 assists in 41 games, leading the River Hawks to their first ever Hockey East regular season title and tournament Championship. Pendenza will join the Nashville Predators organization where he spent time with a NHL Development camp prior to the 2013-14 season. He will join fellow former River Hawk Carter Hutton in the Predators system. Hutton is the backup goaltender

at the NHL level. Pendenza is the first of the senior River Hawks to sign professionally this week, following UMass Lowell’s early departures of Christian Folin and Scott Wilson who signed with the Minnesota Wild and Pittsburgh Penguins respectively, opting to not complete their time at UMass Lowell.

Photo: Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

Admiral Joseph Pendenza

You can add Joseph Pendenza to the list of UMass Lowell River Hawks turning to professional hockey following their season. Pendenza has inked a ATO deal with the Milwaukee Admirals. Pendenza spent four seasons at UMass Lowell including serving as the team’s assistant captain during his senior season. The forward was a part of both successful and unsuccessful teams while at Lowell. Pendenza was a part of the 2010-11 five-win team and won back-to-back Hockey East titles in his junior and senior year. The Wilmington, Mass. native played in 152 games over four years are UMass Lowell notching 49 goals and 71 assists for 110 points. His best season came in 2012-13 when he had

Photo: Justin Soderberg


Doug Carr inks ATO with Abbotsford As soon as his collegiate career came to an end, Doug Carr‘s professional career will begin. Carr has an amateur try-out (ATO) agreement with the Abbotsford Heat of the American HockeyLeague (AHL). An ATO allows a player to play five games or stay on the roster for 10 days before having to be signed to a full contract or released. Carr spent four year with the UMass Lowell River Hawks from 20102014 before his career came to an end last weekend as the River Hawks fell to the Boston College Eagles in the Northeast Regional Finals. The Hanover, Mass. native has not seen game action since his last start on February 22 in a 2-2 tie with the Eagles. Carr went 8-2-2 in 12 games this season with a 1.80 goals-against average and .936 save percentage. His GAA and save percentage would be ranked second nationally if had a few more starts this season. Over his career, Carr posted a

42-33-7 record with four shutouts, a 2.58 GAA and .915 save percentage. He ranks fourth all-time in GAA (2.58), sixth in saves (2,265), second in save percentage (.915), sixth in wins (42) and tied for sixth in shutouts (4) in River Hawks history. Most of his statistic may have been even better if not for having to battle for games with standout goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. Carr was selected to the Hockey East All-Academic Team in 201011. The goaltender also picked up Hockey East Second All-Star Team, New England D1 All-Star, and Most Improved Player “Hines Award” honors in 2011-12, the season after after the River Hawks won only five games. Carr was part of one of the best goaltending tandem’s in the history of college hockey with Hellebuyck, something we are not likely to see in the near future. With his departure for Lowell and signing with Heat, Carr is only


the second goaltender playing professional hockey currently. The other being Carter Hutton with the Nashville Predators. Photo: Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports


Photo: John Corneau







Chad Ruhwedel

Rochester Americans (AHL)

Buffalo Sabres (NHL)



Riley Wetmore

Stockton Thunder (ECHL)

Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL)



Barry Goers

WBS Penguins (AHL)

WBS Penguins (AHL)



Scott Campbell

Providence Bruins (AHL)

South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL)



Christian Folin

UMass Lowell (NCAA)

Minnesota Wild (NHL)



Riley Wetmore

Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL)

Stockton Thunder (ECHL)



Scott Wilson

UMass Lowell (NCAA)

Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)*



Joseph Pendenza UMass Lowell (NCAA)

Milwaukee Admirals (AHL)



Doug Carr

UMass Lowell (NCAA)

Abbotsford Heat (AHL)



Josh Holmstrom

UMass Lowell (NCAA)

Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL)



Connor Hellebuyck UMass Lowell (NCAA)

Winnipeg Jets (NHL)*


*Contract starts with the 2014-15 season



UMass Lowell Alumni Report: March 2014  

Issue 6 • 2013-14 Season