By Kevin Dillon/DFP Sports
The Boston University men’s hockey team came close to a comeback again, scoring two goals in the third period after falling behind 4–1 to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. However, just like the night before against Northeastern University, the comeback fell short and the Terriers fell 4–3.
“Too little too late,” said BU coach Jack Parker. “But competitiveness was back in a lot of guys, which is nice.”
BU (12–8, 9–5 Hockey East) got the scoring started with a nice play by a newly formed third line. Senior forward Ben Rosen made an impact on the scoresheet after being moved up a line by kicking a loose puck up to his stick and sending a backhanded shot on Lowell (12–7–1, 6–6–1 Hockey East) goaltender Doug Carr. Carr fumbled the rebound and freshman forward Matt Lane was there to knock in the rebound for the game’s first goal.
The goal was only Lane’s second of his career. The last time Lane put the puck in the back of the net was at the University of North Dakota on Nov. 3.
The Terriers’ lead did not last the period though, as Lowell forward Joseph Pendenza finished off a crisp cross-ice pass from sophomore Scott Wilson. The Wilmington native scored his eighth goal of the year with the effort.
After finishing the first period without a penalty, the Terriers found themselves in the sin bin quite a bit in the second period. In a span of less than five minutes, BU took four penalties, including a tripping from sophomore defenseman Alexx Privitera and a high sticking from senior defenseman Sean Escobedo that led to a 5-on-3 Lowell advantage.
“[We took] real stupid penalties,” Parker said. “Took ourself out of the game over and over again. It’s amazing we were in that game because of what we did with penalties.”
The Riverhawks took the lead on that power play when junior defenseman Chad Ruhwedel blasted a slap shot over freshman goalie Matt O’Connor for his fifth goal of the season. Wilson made the pass at the blue line to set up Ruhwedel, which earned him his second assist of the game.
Instead of coming out and tying the game up to start the third period, the Terriers fell further behind the Riverhawks less than two minutes into the frame. UMass junior Derek Arnold forced a turnover at BU’s blue line and wasted no time firing a wrist shot over O’Connor’s right shoulder for his third goal of the season.
Lowell added another goal while shorthanded later in the period, when Adam Chapie skated past freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk on a two-on-one and beat O’Connor over his shoulder again with a wrist shot. The goal, which was Chapie’s third of the season, was unassisted.
BU’s power play came right back and answered Chapie’s goal though, as sophomore forward Evan Rodrigues fired a low shot past Carr for his third goal and fifth point in the last two games. Privitera set up the goal with a long pass through the slot.
Not long after, the Terriers pulled themselves within one thanks to a nice give-and-go play between sophomore forward Cason Hohmann and senior captain Wade Megan. Megan chipped the puck into the offensive zone for Hohmann, who feathered a touch pass back to Megan on the doorstep for the easy goal. It was Megan’s team-leading 12th goal on the season and Hohmann’s team-leading 16th assist.
“Yeah it was perfect, he’s an unbelievable passer,” Megan said of Hohmann’s pass. “I just went to the net and it was right on my stick and I just poked it in.”
BU looked on the verge of a comeback until some bad penalties appeared to put those chances to rest. With 5:47 remaining in the third, junior assistant captain Garrett Noonan was called for spearing Carr, which earned him a five-minute major penalty and a disqualification.
Even with the penalties, it looked like BU had a chance to tie the game back at four. With less than two minutes to play, Grzelcyk rang a wrist shot off the crossbar with Carr down and out of the play. It was the fourth post the Terriers hit that night.
“When things are going wrong, things are going wrong,” Parker said. “That kind of doubles up too. But that wasn’t — like I said, we can whine about the pipes if we want to, if we didn’t give the game away with the penalties. But we beat ourselves tonight.”