By: Matt Dresens
LOWELL, Mass. – UMass Lowell cashed in not once, but twice on the power play and added a fluky even-strength tally midway through the third to skate past the Terriers 3-2 in front of 5,688 at Tsongas Center Friday night.
With BU leading 2-1 less than five minutes into the third, the action shifted tremendously in favor of the Riverhawks when Chase Phelps was whistled for hooking. Exactly a minute later, Brandon Hickey gave Jake Kamrass a shove into the end boards and was called for cross-checking. Lowell wasted little time cashing in on the two man advantage, as Chris Forney pumped home a drive from the center point, tying the game for the Riverhawks.
BU Head Coach David Quinn put it simply, saying, “You just can’t take penalties when you’re killing a penalty.”
Four minutes later, Ryan Collins scored off a strange deflection from the corner. He was looking to make a centering feed, but after Jake Oettinger (27 saves) made the initial save, the puck caromed off of Terrier defenseman Brain Diffley’s foot and trickled past Oettinger to give Lowell the lead.
“The kid shot it from the half wall, Diff’s doing a good job defending his guy at the net front, and it went off the back of his skate. It was like a string dragging it right into the net,” described Quinn.
All in all, Lowell accumulated seven power-play opportunities, three in the third period. While statistically BU had four power-play chances, they were not full two-minute power plays. The officiating, to put it mildly, did not please Quinn, who was irate after several calls.
“I’m gonna bite my tongue on this,” he said. “They got seven power plays and we had two and a half. It’s just unreal what goes on out there that doesn’t get called. Then the crap that gets called… it’s just unreal to me.”
BU got off to a hot start to this one, scoring just 42 seconds after the opening draw. Brady Tkachuk slammed home his third of the year off a Jordan Greenway feed, with Cam Crotty picking up the secondary assist.
Lowell leveled the score on one of their seven power plays midway through the first stanza off a Jake Kamrass tip in. Originally the goal was credited to Chris Forney, but was later changed.
BU again started the second period with a bang, as Drew Melanson potted his first goal as a Terrier 36 seconds into period number two. Greenway and Chad Krys had the helpers.
“He’s been a little out of position at center for the first ten games so I wanted to get him on the wing,” mentioned Quinn. “We tried to maximize his ability and moving Bobo in the middle gives us a little more depth down the middle. It was good to see him get his first goal.”
BU again had a flurry of chances late to try an knot things up. First, Bobo Carpenter pushed a backdoor tip just wide with about five minutes left in regulation. Then, with just 10 seconds remaining and Oettinger pulled for an extra attacker, David Farrence let go a point shot that was kicked out by Lowell goaltender Christoffer Hernberg (24 saves), creating a dangerous rebound that was eventually snuffed out.
The Terriers had a bit of a disjointed line up this evening. First, Dante Fabbro was out with a lower-body injury and is listed “day-to-day.” He could possibly play tomorrow, but that remains to be seen. In addition, Farrence started at third line left wing and John MacLeod was back in the lineup.
The two teams will go at it again tomorrow night at Agganis Arena starting at 7:00.