Terriers steal point in 2-2 tie at UMass Lowell

The Boston University men’s hockey team found a game-tying goal late against the No. 12 University of Massachusetts Lowell to salvage a point at Tsongas Center on Saturday night.

BU head coach Albie O’Connell watched his men rally in the third period for the second time in as many nights, and the second-year boss said he was happy with his team’s resiliency all weekend.

 “We did a good job of sticking with it,” O’Connell said in the postgame press conference. “I just liked the way we played all weekend …  it was a big point, and we’ll take it.”

 After being shutout 5-0 by the Terriers (9-8-6, 6-4-5 Hockey East) on Friday night, The River Hawks (13-7-5, 7-4-4 Hockey East) got on the board at 8:28 into Saturday’s game when sophomore defenseman Chase Blackmun tucked a bouncing puck inside the left post.

 The UML lead stood until senior forward Gabriel Chabot tied the game for the Terriers with 3:26 left in the second period, after taking a neutral zone pass from freshman forward Trevor Zegras and zipping it in from the left circle.

 Upping his goal total to a career-high four on the season, the four-year Terrier attributes his offensive improvements to a new attacking mindset as a senior.

 “Coming into this year, I wanted to change the way I played a little bit and find more shooting opportunities,” Chabot said in the postgame press conference. “It’s been a similar story for me in the past four years. It’s just me working hard trying to stay in the lineup, and when good things like this happen, it definitely helps.”

 O’Connell said Chabot’s versatility and work ethic are what keep him in the lineup every night.

 “Whatever situation you put him in, he kind of thrives,” O’Connell said. “He was really physical tonight and it’s nice to see him get rewarded on the scoresheet.”

 Chabot’s goal was answered less than three minutes later when Lowell sophomore forward Austin O’Rourke sent in a one-timer from the slot, putting the hosts back on top at the second intermission.

 The Terriers tested senior goaltender Tyler Wall with 15 shots in the third period, and with 2:14 left in regulation, senior forward Patrick Curry pulled BU even with a close-range strike set up by freshman defenseman Domenick Fensore.

Curry felt his team-leading 13th goal of the season found the back of the net by catching Wall off-guard.

 “[Wall] didn’t really have much time to react,” Curry said. “That’s the only way you’re really going to beat him.”

Much like the night before, O’Connell said his team’s third-period production was a direct result of increased aggressiveness around the net, just as Curry displayed for his tying goal.

 “We did a good job of being a little more resilient [and] getting guys to the net,” O’Connell said.

Deadlocked through three periods, five minutes of overtime came and went without a winner, and the points were split.

With BU’s conference-high sixth tie this season, O’Connell had another opportunity to voice his interest in Hockey East adopting a new overtime system.

 “I’d take anything but five-on-five,” O’Connell said. “Three-on-three would be great.”

Taking three of a possible four points from the River Hawks on the weekend, the Terriers are one point shy of Lowell in the conference standings, holding fifth position with league-leading Massachusetts just three points ahead.

Chabot said the team has been moving in the right direction recently.

“We’ve been trending in the right way,” Chabot said. “We’re playing smarter and we’re playing harder as a team.”

BU will be back in action next Friday night as they trek north to visit the University of Vermont (3-16-4, 0-12-2 Hockey East).

21 thoughts on “Terriers steal point in 2-2 tie at UMass Lowell”

  1. I agree with coach. It was a very good weekend. One tie we might like is a end of year standings tie with Lowell as we now own the tie breaker. I thought we had great legs all weekend. Lowell is big and older but they could not slow us down. As everyone who reads my comments know I think coach and his staff are awesome and have gotten this team to play some great hockey recently, but if I was in charge Gabe would be getting regular shift. Game never quits he’s a physical player who plays smart .

    • Undefeated against Lowell in the season series is something to be proud of, Colin. Part of BU’s success came from matching the physicality of a bigger, older team, and I think Chabot is a big part of that like you mention.

  2. Team really forming up I believe. With all the new guys and injuries one can understand how this ad to be. Interesting that a XF last night scored. That does not happen very often. Outside chance now of Beanpot and HE Championships. Two weeks ago not so much.

    • Optimism from SOCC! It does seem to be coming together at the right time, and I do think BU will be taken more seriously in the tournaments this year than last year. Trending up for sure.

  3. Colin’s, SOCC’s, Vito’s, Glenn’s, and Dan’s comments covered the weekend succinctly, but I would like to share what I said to a group text that I belong to: “Excellent weekend – come from behind tie that feels like a big win. Smart games – no bad pinches (no breakaways), if no sure entry into the O zone they dumped it in and battled for possession deep in the O zone corners. Excellent goaltending! No penalties on Lowell, in spite of two trips = no PP at all for BU. Feeling like we have turned a corner, and are going on a run. Sweet!” Colin, your Chabot comments are spot on – love this guy! Brady, regarding my comments last week – Perhaps I missed this week’s Jumbotron announcement, but I did not see the expected acknowledgement of (and solicitation of votes for) our Hobey Baker nominees, that the Athletic Department Administration was to have displayed? PSD

    • Lots of positive for sure PSD. Yeah, there wasn’t any mention of the Hobey Baker candidates on Friday night. I talked to Colin about it a little bit, and it is strange how they haven’t really done anything to support Harper and Farrance yet. You would think that a 5-0 rout (especially when Harper scored!) would be the perfect time to mention it, but nope – nothing.

  4. Great weekend 3out of 4 points vs top team like lowell I will take everytime… Looks like we found our “style” of hockey that suits this BU team.. I think tucker won’t play goimg down the stretch and my only issue is why is deboer on 1st line with Harper and zegras he is not a gopd skater amd gets tired way to quick if u want a “big body” u can use quercia overall better them 19… Chabot fit right in last night with that line .. Overall very good weekend and looks promising going forward… Go bu

    • Huge weekend for sure, Rui. On your point about DeBoer, my theory is that Armstrong will slot in with Zegras and Harper when he returns, and for now BU is using that spot for DeBoer and Chabot to battle over who will become the extra skater when Armstrong comes back. So far, I give the edge to Chabot.

  5. even though the record is modest, this team has spunk. they do not quit and some of that credit goes to the coach and some to curry. is curry one of the best captains ever? and chabot, in my opinion, should be wearing an A. always loved him. did you see the way he initiated the thank you to the interviewer in between periods. total class act

    gotta also give props to jake wise. he seems to be emerging from his funk. if he keeps trending that way, it would be a huge addition

    and about Mr Abel. seriously? do not wake me up from this dream. too early to go crazy, but i love the way he smothers the shot and allows few rebounds. if he is the real deal, that puts a whole other spin on the season and i agree with Caesar that the HE and Beanpot titles might be attainable.

    they have to win next week against VT. that is two points waiting to be seized

    when is Armstrong back? like him on the first line

    • Lots of reasons to be excited Vinnie! Talking to Curry and O’Connell last night, it does seem like Chabot is one of the leaders, even if he doesn’t wear an “A”. I think playing with confidence is the key for Wise, and Abel has been great to start, but there are some big games under bright lights coming up, so we’ll see if he can rise to the occasion. Like you said, there’s no reason to leave Vermont with less than two points. Armstrong’s injury isn’t supposed to be long-term, and it does seem like the obvious fit for him will be on the top line as you said.

      • Three things: #1 Brady, I assume you meant “NO reason” to leave VT with less than two points” #2 Cool fact … Jamie Armstrong’s dad Bill scored the game-winning goal to make the Oshawa Generals the 1990 Memorial Cup Champions and his teammate was some guy named Eric Lindros 😉 #3 I hope that down the line, Curry and Chabot get consideration for full-time coaching positions for BUH.

  6. Vinnie we don’t always see eye to eye but winning helps. I started this blog talking about chabot this weekend was not the first time Gabe has had to fight for ice time in his stay on comm ave. it seems every year he plays well then lines get shuffled and his role and ice time change. What I love about this kid is he never sulks he never takes away from what the team accomplishes but what he does do is when he gets a chance he always gives it 110% he is a team player who leads by example. I like our captains but as was mentioned previously Gabe could easily wear a letter. I think players on this team respect him as a leader and understand what he has gone through to be such a good hockey player. I think it’s important to realize Gabe grew up watching his dad play 20+ years of pro hockey. That takes a lot of fortitude to do that. I think some of that moxie rubbed off on a Gabe as he is tough as nails. I honestly don’t care what line he plays on as long as he plays because this club is better with him on the ice. Roy I think Debour is between those guys because he’s big and does well with cycling and he gets to the net something this team struggled to do earlier in the season. I also think coach wants to balance the lines out a bit. Since we are all giving praise it’s great but I did see something that was not as good Saturday as was Friday and that was BU defenseman on Lowell blue line seemed a bit indecisive on pinching and jumping into plays which led to easier breakouts for Lowell. Friday we were superb in this aspect of the game, last night we were ok. All in all I like the direction we are heading.

    • Good insight Colin. Chabot has worked hard and it’s great to see him get rewarded, like Coach O’Connell said. I think you’re exactly right about DeBoer being a guy who goes to the net – it seems like every goal he’s had has been from being in the right place at the right time, which is often around the net. Yes, the defense wasn’t as good on Saturday as it was on Friday, but holding Lowell to two goals on the weekend is still great.

      • Correct Brady and the defense as a whole was great both nights . The point I was making was because of the indecisive decision making off the D on offensive blue line Lowell had easier time breaking out then they did Friday as they were not hemmed in there own zone for as long. I thought the defense was great both nights. We did a great job of limiting Lowell chances and canceling out guys on rebounds. Solid two nights .

        • I see what you’re saying, Colin – if they play the same way, I’d bet they could shut out Vermont.

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