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His breakout season came as a sophomore, when Joe Pendenza tallied 29 points at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. A year ago, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound center from Wilmington earned second team Hockey East honors after his 15-goal, 23-assist campaign.
But now the Riverhawks, the preseason favorite in the Hockey East, are counting on their assistant captain for more than just points after their celebrated run to the Frozen Four last season, a first for the program.
“The spotlight is on me to be a leader,” said Pendenza, who had registered three goals and one assist in UML’s 3-3-1 start. “I need to get people ready for games and be more talkative. I can get goals and score points, but we have four lines that can do that.”