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).