River Hawks look ahead to NCAA tournament
BOSTON (WHDH) -- A new course has been charted in Hockey East with the championship trophy sailing up the Merrimack River, guided by the River Hawks of UMass-Lowell.
“It was nice waking up yesterday morning, today. It’s a good feeling to have being Hockey East champs -- doesn’t happen too often,” said Chad Ruhdwedel, defenseman.
It's never happened -- but the Hawks aren't exactly getting nostalgic about their recent accomplishments
“We’ll celebrate it this summer. And that season’s over. Now it’s a new chapter and we’re certainly very excited in participating in NCAA and there’s 16 good teams left,” said Norm Bazin, head coach.
It’s strange to think that’s even possible for a program that won just five games only two seasons ago. But under the leadership of Head Coach Norm Bazin, a former River Hawk forward, 2011 seems like a distant memory.
“Coach Bazin came in two years ago and just brought the culture back to UMass-Lowell. Really brought the team game back, make sure everyone’s committed. Get the alumni involved, everyone in the community involved,” said Riley Wetmore, forward.
“Tried to instill a culture of accountability. The guys have responded and it’s been an exciting time for us,” said Coach Bazin.
So while the River Hawks may have fallen on hard times, Coach Bazin has picked the program up off the mat, and put it back on the map.