The Boston University men’s hockey team only has one more game remaining until 2017 comes to a close. The Terriers (7-10-1, 5-6-1 Hockey East) have also reached the midpoint of their season and traveled to the Tsongas Center to play the University of Massachusetts Lowell Friday night in search of two Hockey East conference points.
However, BU gave up its 2-1 lead to Lowell (9-7, 6-5 Hockey East) in the third period and was unable to gain it back in the 3-2 loss.
The Terriers drew seven penalties over the course of the night and gave up two power-play goals, something BU head coach David Quinn was dismayed by.
“It was a good win by Lowell,” Quinn said. “They got two power plays goal, one five-on-three. [We’ve] got to get ready to go tomorrow night.”
While the River Hawks went two-for-seven on their power play, the Terriers went one-for-four on its own. Sophomore defenseman Dante Fabbro missed the game due to a lower-body injury, something that hurt BU’s penalty kill.
“Not having Fabbro tonight on our power play kind of hurt us,” Quinn said. “We were a little disjointed.”
Quinn said the defenseman’s injury is “day-to-day” and is unsure if he’ll return to tomorrow night’s lineup.
The Terriers entered the game with a determined attitude to end the semester on a high note before they go on an almost four-week break. BU’s first matchup of 2018 will be an exhibition game against the U.S. Under-18 National Development Program Team before it plays the University of Maine for the third time this season.
Senior defenseman and captain Brandon Hickey’s shot went wide of the net, but freshman forward Brady Tkachuk got his team on the board just 42 seconds after the opening faceoff.
Terrier freshman defenseman Cam Crotty got the puck up the right wing to junior forward Jordan Greenway who shot the puck toward the net. However, it was Tkachuk who picked the puck up and got it into the space between the River Hawks’ junior goaltender Christoffer Hernberg and the posts.
Hernberg entered the matchup with a .939 goal save percentage and a 1.64 goals against average over 11 games was recently named Hockey East’s goaltender of the month for November.
Lowell took advantage of their first power play after BU was called for too many men.
Senior defenseman Tommy Panico gave linemate Chris Forney a feed at the point and the puck bounced off Lowell senior forward Jake Kamrass and past BU sophomore goaltender Jake Oettinger on his glove side.
The game didn’t stay knotted at one for very long as the Terriers entered the second period with the same burst as the first period.
Graduate transfer forward Drew Melanson received a pass from Greenway and the puck bounced off Herberg’s left pad and into the net just 36 seconds into the second frame to give his team a 2-1 lead. This marked Melanson’s first tally of the season.
BU went on to get 11 shots on goal, but Lowell still held a 18-16 advantage in shots after testing Oettinger multiple times.
Despite the 2-1 lead going into the third period, the Terriers were unable to keep their momentum as the River Hawks gained traction.
Forney was able to get a goal on the power play during a Lowell five-on-three opportunity after senior forward Chase Phelps and Hickey were sent to the penalty box.
“We take a penalty as we’re killing a penalty,” Quinn said. “They tie it up. You can’t take penalties when you’re killing a penalty and that’s what we did.”
Senior forward Ryan Collins gave the River Hawks a lead they would not relinquish 8:42 into the final period. Collins shot a wrister toward the net and it bounced off of Terrier senior defenseman Brien Diffley’s skate.
After a season filled with BU unable to remain consistent in its play, the squad will return to Agganis Arena on Saturday night to face off against Lowell to finish its series.
“We need to capitalize on our chances and we can’t take this many penalties,” Quinn said. “They had seven power plays and we had two and a half. Unreal what goes on out there that doesn’t get called and the crap that gets called. It’s unreal to me. Don’t get me going. Absolutely absurd.”