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Wilmington's Pendenza Leads UMass Lowell Hockey to NCAA Tournament

The River Hawks take on Minnesota State on Saturday in Worcester, led by Wilmington resident Joe Pendenza.

Joe Pendenza is the leading scorer for the UMass Lowell men's hockey team. (Photo: UMass-Lowell Athletics)
Joe Pendenza is the leading scorer for the UMass Lowell men's hockey team. (Photo: UMass-Lowell Athletics)
The University of Massachusetts Lowell men's hockey team is hoping for a second straight appearance in the Frozen Four. And leading the charge once again is Wilmington's own Joe Pendenza.

On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. inside the DCU Center in Worcester, the River Hawks will take on Minnesota State in the Northeast Regional Semifinal round. The game will be available for streaming online through ESPN3.

Pendenza will be a critical cog in the UMass Lowell attack as the team opens its playoff run.

The senior forward is the team leader in a host of categories. He has a team-high 13 goals on the season, and Pendenza is also all alone for the team lead with 29 points. In addition, Pendenza also has 16 assists, tied for first with Zack Kamrass.

Thanks to a regular season record of 25-10-4 and a Hockey East record of 11-6-3, UMass Lowell earned a No. 2 seed in the tournament.

For a second straight season, Pendenza and the River Hawks skated to the Hockey East championship on the ice of TD Garden thanks to a 4-0 shutout win over the University of New Hampshire. Saturday's victory over UNH marked Pendenza's 150th career game.

Minnesota State enters this weekend's tilt against the River Hawks with a 12-0-1 unbeaten streak, which is good for longest in the nation.

According to the UMass Lowell athletics website, Pendenza is one of three sons of Rosa and Robert Pendenza. Following his collegiate career, the Wilmington resident hopes to pursue a career in hockey and open an Italian restaurant.

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