Golf, Sports

BU struggles on offense in 3-1 loss to UMass Lowell

LOWELL — The No. 13/15 Boston University men’s hockey team’s chances at hosting a Hockey East quarterfinal game took another hit Saturday night, when the Terriers fell to No. 12 University of Massachusetts-Lowell 3-1 at the Tsongas Center. With the win, Lowell (18-9-2, 12-8-2 Hockey East) swept the seas

Terrier freshman goaltender Matt O’Connor allowed three goals in a 3-0 loss to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell Friday night. MICHAEL CUMMO/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF
Terrier freshman goaltender Matt O’Connor allowed three goals in a 3-0 loss to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell Friday night. MICHAEL CUMMO/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

on series with BU (14-14-2, 11-9-2 Hockey East) for the first time since 2000-01. The Terriers now sit in sixth place in Hockey East, as Lowell and Providence College moved ahead of them in the standings over the weekend. “[Losing both games on the weekend] really hurts us in both races,” said BU coach Jack Parker. “Kills us in both races, in a lot of ways.” Just like the night before, Lowell forward Scott Wilson opened the scoring with a blistering slap shot from the top of the circles. The goal, which was Wilson’s 10th goal of the season, was unassisted. Lowell struck again in the second period, when UML defenseman Chad Ruhwedel flipped a rebound over freshman goaltender Sean Maguire for a power-play goal. Maguire, who made the initial save and stopped Lowell forward Derek Arnold on a 4-on-1, could not get up in time to make the second save. The play developed at the other end of the ice though, when junior defenseman Garrett Noonan failed to hit the net on a shorthanded 3-on-1 rush. With Noonan out of the play, four River Hawks had no trouble moving the puck past freshman defenseman Matt Grzelcyk to set up the goal. “We worked like hell to get back, but we ended up covering the wrong guy,” Parker said. “If we backchecked to the weak side we would have had the rebound.” BU, which was shut out the previous night, struggled to produce offense again Saturday night. The Terriers only produced four shots on goal in the first period and nine shots on goal in the second period. It was not until 8:25 into the third period that BU could finally crack Lowell goalie Connor Hellebuyck, when sophomore forward Evan Rodrigues scored on a quick wraparound chance while shorthanded. Junior forward Sahir Gill and senior defenseman Sean Escobedo earned assists on the play. However, Lowell answered Rodrigues’ goal fewer than five minutes later, when UML forward Joseph Pendenza chipped the puck past senior defenseman Ryan Ruikka in the neutral zone before beating Maguire five-hole. It was the Wilmington native’s 12th goal on the season, which increased his team lead in points to 28. The Terriers spent a lot of time in the penalty box in the game, as they took 14 penalties for 36 minutes Saturday night. However, the penalty kill was relatively successful, as they only allowed one power-play goal in the game and survived three separate 5-on-3 situations. “I don’t think Lowell was diving, but they were already going down and they got called,” Parker said. “Penalties have been a concern for us all year long. It has been killing us.” Maguire was the star of the game for BU, as he made 36 saves and kept the score close. Lowell finished the night with more than double the amount of shots the Terriers had. “He played great,” Rodrigues said of his goalie. “He really did everything he could to keep us in the game, so kudos to him.” With another loss, BU is 4-10-2 since traveling to Denver on Dec. 29. With the second-half slump continuing, Parker said his players are frustrated. “We’re losing games, we’re not scoring goals. Guys are expecting to score and they’re not, and they’re getting frustrated,” Parker said. “No question, you could pick up any number on that team. They’re real frustrated right now.”

Comments are closed.