No. 4 Terriers top No. 8/9 River Hawks, 5-4, in overtime

By Cary Betagole/DFP Staff

The No. 8/9 University of Massachusetts-Lowell forced the No. 4 Boston University men’s hockey team to play its game Friday night, but the Terriers were efficient enough with the chances they did get to squeak out a 5-4 victory in overtime at Tsongas Arena.

The Terriers managed to mount several successful odd-man surges out of River Hawk jurisdiction to force overtime, when junior defenseman Colby Cohen fit a one-timer just inside the left post with 1:06 left on the clock.

“Good screen by Dave, good pass by Shatty and a little luck on the shot,” Cohen said. “A lot of times in overtime you get too excited, but we settled it down and we won the puck battles, and ultimately it led to a shot with a good screen.”

After four minutes of overtime dominated by the River Hawks, the game winner was tucked in so precisely that it wrapped around the inside of the net like a puck wraps around the boards off a dump in.

And could the game honestly end any other way?

The Terriers made a living out of shrugging off hard-fought River Hawk attacks with squeakers on the other end.

After getting outshot, 12-8, in the first period, BU got on the board with 13:18 left in the second on a solo strike by freshman Alex Chiasson.

On a 2-on-1 alongside senior Zach Cohen, Chiasson moved left to right through the Lowell zone and went top shelf after a subtle bluff to his running mate.

After a period and a half of UML dominance, BU had gone up first on a rare escape from River Hawk sovereignty.

But the Riverhawks got back to their bread and butter five minutes later, finally cashing in on an attack that had yielded so many opportunities.

Following onslaught after onslaught of outside slap shots to soften the zone, slashers moved in from all sides to feast on the remains.

Millan was caught out of net after a second rebound was stuffed home by senior Paul Worthington.

“You’re talking about ebbs and flows, but it was good plays then mistakes then good plays,” BU coach Jack Parker said.

The Terriers struck back shorthanded on a break led out of the zone by sophomore forward Chris Connolly. He hit sophomore defenseman David Warsofsky in stride for the goal, putting the Terriers up 2-1.

But the River Hawks were relentless, jumping right back into the dump-and-chase tactic that had helped them gain momentum. UML used its below-average 11-foot gap between the net and end boards to its advantage, repeatedly using it to get missed shots right back out in front.

“They got an awful lot of chances four inches from our goalie,” Parker said. “The puck gets to the front of the net real quick here.”

But after sophomores Michael Scheu and Michael Budd banged home rebounds to put UML up 3-2, the BU defensemen put a stop to that trend by getting in more shooting lanes and blocking more shots.

“They have some defensemen with some big shots, and sometimes it’s tough to go out there and take one off the foot,” Cohen said. “But as the game went on, guys started saying, ‘There’s no way we’re going to lose to this team.'”

Senior Zach Cohen’s wrister evened the score 3-3 to open the third. Then, off a junior Joe Pereira break, sophomore Andrew Glass was able to push it to Warsofsky, who netted the go-ahead goal after whiffing on his first try.

It didn’t seem like Warsfosky realized where the puck was on his second attempt. He just swung at the ground and caught puck, depositing it into the lower left.

“It was nice to get five goals,” Parker said. “We’ve been struggling to get offense, for sure, and five goals was big.”