Saturday, February 18, 2012

BU Wins A Huge One In Lowell

Tonight, BU held off UMass Lowell in a critical game at Tsongas Center. After the 7-4 win, BU moved into a tie with Boston College (BU owns the tie breaker) for first place in Hockey East with 29 points. Lowell is just one point behind with 28.

On to the actual game. After a strong start by both teams, it was Lowell taking the early lead. Michael Budd put home his 5th of the year from Stephan Buco and Joe Pendenza at 5:53 to give Lowell a 1-0 lead. From there, BU would go on to score five straight goals before UML found the back of the net again.

Less than a minute after Buco's goal, Wade Megan evened the score at 1-1. RiverHawk goalie Doug Carr kicked Patrick MacGreger's shot into the low slot. There, Megan went upstairs on the now out of position Carr to tie the game. It was Megan's 15th if the year.

BU took the lead on the power play at the 13:18 mark of the first. Matt Nieto found Chris Connolly on the near side boards. After receiving the pass, Connolly set up Alex Chiasson for a one-timer in the middle slot. Chiasson did not miss, drilling a rocket past Carr and into the net.

BU's fourth line rounded out the first period scoring with little over three minutes to play in the frame. Ryan Santana carried the puck into the high slot, before dishing to Yasin Cissè, who one touched it past Carr, into the bottom of the net. It was Cissè's second goal of the season.

The Terriers started period two a bit sluggish. Thankfully, Kieran Millan was on top of his game and bailed BU out before they could score again. That they did, again on the power play. Chiasson, with back facing Carr, was able to spin around in the high slot and direct a shot on goal. Carr put the rebound right on Connolly's tape, who backhanded it top shelf making it 4-1 Terriers.

BU threatened to run Lowell right out of their own building less than five minutes into the second. Adam Clendening was called for cross checking, which gave Lowell a five on three power play for 1:20. They did not score, and as Clendening was leaving the box, Chiasson hit him with a strech pass. The pass sprang the defenseman in on a clear cut break a way. Clendening made an excellent forehand, backhand move, completely undressing Carr and giving the Terriers a 5-1 lead.

BU seemed to relax after the fifth goal, allowing Lowell a chance to get back in the game. Malcolm Lyles scored his first goal of the season from the mid slot on the power play at 19:17, giving Lowell some momentum headed into the third period.

Just 20 seconds into the third, Riley Wetmore potted his 10th of the year on a backdoor play that Milan had no chance on. That made it 5-3 and there was plenty of time left for the RiverHawks.

Ross Gaudet helped put out the Lowell fire as he raced after a loose puck at center ice. After gaining position at about the Lowell blue line, Carr, the goalie, tried to come out and break up the play. Gaudet simply stepped around the sliding goaltender and shot the puck into a now vacant net.

Lowell continued to hang around, though. Matt Ferreira scored at the 7:32 mark of the third, high glove side on Millan. BU shut down any hope of a comeback, though, as Matt Nieto slammed home an Alex Chiasson pass on the power play at 11:10. BU hung on and came away with two points and a 7-4 win. It was not a convincing win, but a win's a win.

Millan stopped 38 of 42 shots. The two teams will go at it again tomorrow night back in Boston, starting at 7:30. The game cane be seen live on NESN.

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