The No. 1 Boston University men’s hockey team rallied in the third to top No. 7 University of Massachusetts Lowell, 4-2.
Coming into the night, the River Hawks (15-9-3, 7-7-1 Hockey East) had lost three in a row after riding the high of a seven game win streak. The Terriers (17-7-2, 10-4-2 Hockey East) were in a similar position after falling twice to Merrimack College earlier in the week after an eight-game win streak.
The first period was eerily similar to Friday’s start, at least score-wise. The River Hawks, who boast the second-best power play unit in the country, scored on their first man-advantage opportunity. Freshman Ryan Lohin put Lowell on the board 8:36 into the first.
Just 1:04 later, freshman forward Gabe Chabot tied it up. He gained possession of the puck near the blue line and carried the puck into the zone, with junior forward Chase Phelps alongside him for support. Chabot fired past defender Michael Kapla and found net. The 2-on-1 was the exact type of situation head coach David Quinn said his team wasn’t taking advantage of the night before.
“I actually like the fact we got some shots off on these 2-on-1s,” Quinn said of Saturday’s game. “Last night we did some toe-dragging and didn’t get anything done. The first one we got we tried to saucer pass it and that didn’t work. … I think because we played smarter hockey we got more odd man rushes.”
Lowell outshot BU 14-6 in the first period. In the second, the Terriers played catchup. They put up 10 shots, but Lowell still outdid them with 11.
The River Hawks also bested the Terriers in faceoffs, winning 37 of the 60 faceoffs on the night. Quinn doesn’t put his team at fault, though, and said Lowell is just great on the dot.
Freshman goaltender Jake Oettinger was the most exciting aspect of the second stanza, making a few potentially game-saving saves. Junior John Edwardh got hold of the puck on a Terrier power play and barreled toward Oettinger with no one challenging him. Oettinger tracked the puck and made the sprawling glove save.
The second period was close with a slight Lowell advantage, but the third period was all BU.
Quinn said the Terriers played their best hockey in the last 20 minutes.
“We were much more practical,” he said. “Our puck management was a lot better. We spent a lot more time in the offensive zone and took advantage of some of our chances.”
Halfway through the frame, freshman Clayton Keller forked the puck from behind the net to sophomore forward Bobo Carpenter, who shot the puck stick side on goalie Tyler Wall for the go-ahead goal.
“I saw my linemates, Keller and [Jordan] Greenway,” Carpenter recalled. “They worked really hard down low, they were moving the puck. That’s what they do best, so I was just trying to get in the open area. Keller, he sees the ice so well. He slid it out and I just wanted to get it on net. I got the lucky bounce and I was in the right place.”
Keller ended the night with an assist and a goal of his own, which came nearly three minutes later. Quinn described his backhanded shot past Wall as “unreal.” The Arizona Coyotes draft pick has scored a point in 13 straight games.
With three minutes remaining, forward CJ Smith scored Lowell’s second goal. On the same play, Greenway was called for slashing. The Terriers could have let the game get away from them but held strong.
Carpenter said he points to his team’s mental composure in situations like that.
“We don’t get too excited,” he said. “We just keep playing our game. Make the strong plays. We don’t force anything.”