LOWELL, Mass. — In front of a crowd of 5,979, the UMass-Lowell River Hawks finished the season sweep of the Boston University, beating the Terriers, 3-1. The win marks UMass-Lowell’s fourth straight victory over Boston University and moves the River Hawks in front of the Terriers in the Hockey East standings.
UMass-Lowell was the more dominant team in Saturday night’s game, out-shooting Boston University 39-16. The River Hawks managed to tally 12 shots in the first period and a goal by Scott Wilson. Just inside the blue line, Wilson fired a slap shot that caught Maguire by surprise and put the River Hawks up 1-0 at 5:47 in the first period. This is the second night in a row that Wilson had netted a goal of that kind of magnitude. The River Hawks skated in their offensive zone for most of the first period, tallying 24 chances to Boston University’s eight. The Terriers were “squeezing the sticks too tight” said head coach Jack Parker. The frustration of the game was spilling over in the Boston University play.
The River Hawks took the 2-0 lead 9:57 into the second period on a four-on-one breakaway goal. The initial shot was taken by Joseph Pendenza, however off the juicy rebound, junior defenseman, Chad Ruhwedel lifted it past, Boston University net-minder, Sean Maguire. UMass-Lowell had controlled the entire game until, Evan Rodrigues netted Boston University’s first goal at 8:25 into the third period. The short-handed goal broke up the second shutout in a row for UMass-Lowell and Hellebuyck. The Terriers hadn’t been shutout two nights in a row since December of 1941, three days after Pearl Harbor.
Boston University was back in the game, on the scoreboard at least. The River Hawks controlled the third period, like they had for most of the game with only allowing Boston University to get off three shots on net. Joseph Pendenza put the River Hawks up, 3-1, with a 7:55 left in regulation, sealing the win for UMass-Lowell and earning Pendenza the first star of the game honors.
Boston University gave UMass-Lowell plenty of opportunities to really put the game away, committing 10 penalties on the night. UMass-Lowell didn’t capitalize only nine of the 10 opportunities, the one weakness for the River Hawks during the victory.
Coach Bazin decided to go with, freshman goaltender, Connor Hellebuyck in net once again. After a stellar season last year, junior goaltender Doug Carr looks to have been relegated to a back-up role. Hellebuyck has started between the pipes in the teams last four games and has won them all. It may be a case of going with Hellebuyck until he makes a mistake, which he hasn’t lately. Hellebuyck is the owner of a 10-1-0 record with a 1.53 goals against average and a .942 save percentage. With three games in five days, one wonders if Bazin will go with Carr in net when UMass-Lowell visits Boston College on Tuesday.
“I’ll think about that tomorrow,” said Bazin when asked if he would start Carr on Tuesday. “In my time here as a player and as assistant coach I didn’t have many wins against BU, so I’m going to take some time, sit back and enjoy this”