The No. 10 Boston University men’s hockey team ended their regular season Saturday, besting the University of Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks 3-3, via a shoot-out.
“I think we’ve proven that we’re one of the best teams in the league, obviously,” Terriers head coach Albie O’Connell said postgame Saturday. “We got good leadership, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs, but I’m just proud of the way our leadership has performed and then the guys underneath.”
At the start of the game, both teams showed a propensity for physicality. The Terriers and River Hawks traded shots until BU was called for too many men on the ice.
Off of a clean face-off win for Lowell, junior forward Reid Stefanson put the puck on a tee for junior defenseman Chase Blackmun to blast from the point. The defenseman fired the puck past freshman goaltender Drew Commesso. The game’s opening score was potted at the 12:29 mark.
The Terriers were looking for a spark with four minutes left in the period, and they got it from two Lowell penalties. Junior forward Lucas Condotta was off for elbowing and then Stefanson was called for delaying the game, placing two River Hawks in the box.
Skating five against three, BU was searching for the equalizer. After senior defenseman David Farrance received the puck on the far point, he whipped a pass to sophomore forward Jay O’Brien. He blasted the one-timer home, knotting the game at 1-1 17 minutes into the period.
But after the power play expired, the River Hawks were immediately hunting for the lead. Junior defenseman Jon McDonald fired a shot that was tipped home by Lowell captain and senior forward Charlie Levesque — the River Hawks had reclaimed the lead less than 90 seconds after O’Brien’s goal.
Immediately following the River Hawks score, freshman forward Luke Tuch picked off the puck, spun around and fired a shot past junior goaltender Owen Savory to tie the game at 2-2 with less than a second left in the first period.
Although three penalties were issued in the second period, the only goal in the 20 minutes was scored with both teams at full strength.
Approaching five minutes into the period, sophomore forward Wilmer Skoog rushed into Lowell’s zone on the right wing. After Skoog’s shot attempt was blocked, sophomore defenseman Domenick Fensore found himself in the slot, right where the puck deflected to. The defenseman wristed the puck past Savory to give BU its first lead in the contest.
For the next 15 minutes, both teams would trade chances, but Commesso and Savory did not allow any more rubber to get past them. The Terriers took their 3-2 lead into the second intermission.
Not quite two minutes into the third period, the Terriers were penalized for too many men on the ice again. Levesque potted his second score of the game, tying the contest at 3-3 with a tick over 17 minutes left in regulation.
The 3-3 scoreline would hold through the conclusion of the third period — overtime needed to decide a victor.
Despite two Terrier shots hitting the posts, the five-minute overtime concluded without a game winner. Lowell and BU needed a shootout to decide a victor. This was both teams’ first shootout of the season.
The Terriers would prevail in the shootout. Skoog, Farrance and sophomore forward Robert Mastrosimone all tucked nifty goals, and Commesso stoned Stefenson to claim the extra point for BU.
BU will enter the Hockey East Tournament as the second seed. The Terriers’ next contest is set for March 14.