A Tale of Two Halves

Lowell, MA. – The visiting Boston College Eagles rode their “second” line to a 4-3 victory over the UMass-Lowell River Hawks on Saturday night at Tsongas Arena. Nine total points for Jack McBain, Nikita Nesterenko, Colby Ambrosio, and Drew Helleson. McBain and Helleson each had a goal and two assists to power BC past UML. Spencer Knight made 29 saves for the Eagles. His counter-part Owen Savory had 20 saves for Lowell.

The River Hawks took last night’s 7-1 drubbing by the Eagles to heart and came out blazing to open the return engagement. UML carried play through the game’s first 30 minutes of action. Unfortunately for them, there were still 30 minutes still to play and those mostly belonged to BC. The visiting Eagles scored four straight goals to earn the weekend sweep of the River Hawks.

Sophomore Blake Wells kicked off the night by beating Knight high glove-side to give the River Hawks the 1-0 lead at 4:36. Senior co-captain Connor Sodergren assisted on Wells’ first of the season. For Sodergren, the assist was his 50th career NCAA point.

Andre Lee doubled the UML lead at 13:14 when he deked Knight and slid a backhander past him. Reid Stefanson sent Lee in alone on Knight.

UML’s Sodergren and BC’s Patrick Giles were assessed matching Roughing penalties at 10:44. The four on four would prove to be the turning point of the game.

Mike Hardman put the visitors on the board at 11:18 when his shot from the left face-off dot deflected off a defender past goalie Savory.

Helleson tied the game at 12:25 when he tapped in a Nesterenko feed. Nesterenko carried out from the corner, crisscrossed with Helleson just inside the blue line, then hit the streaking defenseman at the side of the UML net. Helleson scored in both games against the River Hawks this weekend.

Nesterenko gave the Eagles the lead for good just nine seconds into the third period when his snapshot beat Savory glove-side high. Helleson and McBain assisted on Nesterenko’s seventh of the season.

McBain, the senior from Toronto, Ont., made it 4-2 BC at 4:37 when he tipped a Helleson shot past Savory’s blocker. The goal was McBain’s fifth of the year. Eamon Powell also assisted.

The River Hawks still had plenty of punch left as they threw all they had at Knight and the Eagles.

Lucas Condotta scored for Lowell at 19:59 to cut the deficit to 4-3. But it was too little too late as the Eagles improved to 13-3-1 on the season. With the loss, the River Hawks fell to 4-7-0.

“This was the team we expected,” said BC coach Jerry York. “They (Lowell) played hard, had a 2-0 lead on us. They had us back on our heels after the first period.”

“I thought we responded really well,” added York. “Four on four was certainly a critical part of the game, we got two goals right back. Nikita’s early goal in the third period was a spark for us.”

“We made a push at the end,” said Lowell coach Norm Bazin. “It was too little too late.”

“I thought we came out with some energy, but unfortunately we have to work on some four on four play here because that wasn’t good enough for tonight,” said Bazin.