LOWELL — The mistakes came early for the No. 7 Boston University men’s hockey team, and so did the goals for the No. 11 University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Lowell defenseman Dylan Zink had a hat trick in the game, completing the feat within the first 24 minutes of the game. Forward Adam Chapie, who returned after a suspension Friday night, added a pair to give the River Hawks (18-7-5, 11-5-4 Hockey East) an overwhelming lead early, and BU (17-9-4, 10-5-3 Hockey East) was unable to recover.
The Terriers never led during the evening, and gave up six goals to an opponent for the first time this season in a 6-3 loss on Saturday at Tsongas Center.
BU remains in fifth place in Hockey East, now three points behind fourth-place Lowell.
“Disappointed in the outcome,” said BU coach David Quinn. “Disappointed in why we lost the way we did.”
Zink had the first goal of the night at 11:26, when his wrister went high over senior goaltender Sean Maguire’s glove side to give the River Hawks a 1-0 advantage.
Freshman forward Bobo Carpenter struck back just more than a minute-and-a-half later with a second-chance wraparound to tie the game at one goal apiece.
Zink got his second of the game with 2:14 remaining in the first period with a slapshot from the point just after the faceoff to put the River Hawks ahead 2-1.
Then, 3:13 into the second period, he capped off the hat trick, becoming the first Lowell defenseman to record a hat trick since 1996.
Sophomore goaltender Connor LaCouvee entered the game in relief of senior starter Sean Maguire at the 5:40 mark of the second period, but surrendered two more goals at 10:14 and 10:23, both to Chapie, to push the River Hawks’ advantage to 5-1.
Freshman forward Oskar Andrén cut BU’s deficit to 5-2 at the 14:52 mark of the second period. BU out-shot Lowell 18-11 in the period — and 38-29 in the game — but Quinn said it was hard to judge whether that could completely be attributed to BU itself.
“I thought we played well as the game went on,” Quinn said. “But tough to gauge because, like I said, when it’s 5-2, they’re playing a little bit different.”
BU further added to its shot total in the third period, outshooting the River Hawks 13-4. On one of Lowell’s four shots, though, captain A.J. White swatted in a puck with 4:47 remaining in regulation to make the score 6-2.
Sophomore defenseman Brandon Fortunato added one last goal for the Terriers with 2:15 remaining to create the final score.
The Terriers, in total attempts, had 87 tries to Lowell’s 46. But in addition to cashing in on their opportunities on net, the River Hawks also had a strong defensive effort, blocking 30 shots on the evening.
“Well, congratulate Lowell, great effort by them,” Quinn said. “Certainly disappointed with obviously the outcome and some of the reasons why we’re in the situation we’re in tonight.
“It just seemed like every mistake we made ended up in the back of our net.”