LOWELL, Mass. — On the 28th anniversary of the program’s first-ever Division I victory, the Massachusetts-Lowell River Hawks were able to upend the No. 12 Boston University Terriers by a final of 7-1.
A dozen River Hawks got on the scoreboard in what is arguably the club’s biggest win in quite some time.
“It was a great outing for our guys,” said UMass-Lowell head coach Norm Bazin. “We certainly got our confidence and took advantage.”
In the early moments of the game, it looked like it was going to be Boston University’s night, as they took the lead on a goal by captain Corey Trivino just 16 seconds into the game.
After taking the puck into the Lowell zone, Evan Rodrigues dropped the puck back to defenseman Adam Clendening, who then moved smoothly along the blue line to find a shooting lane where he ripped a wrist shot that was deflected by Trivino past goaltender Doug Carr to give the Terriers an early 1-0 lead.
“We had two objectives tonight,” said Bazin. “The first was to score the first goal and the other was to win the game. We realized quickly that we couldn’t get the first one, so we put it behind us and went for the game.”
It did not take long for the River Hawks to respond when Joseph Pendenza leveled the score at 5:43 in the first on his third goal of the season. After the puck was chipped deep into the Terriers’ zone, it skipped off of Clendening and Matt Ferreira was able to push him off the puck and take possession. Ferreira was then able to feed a streaking Pendenza in the slot, who wristed the puck passed BU goaltender Kieran Millan to tie the game up at 1-1.
Lowell struck again just 55 seconds later on the power play. Ferreira worked the puck back to the point where defenseman Chad Ruhwedel wristed a shot that was handled poorly by Millan. The rebound found its way to a wide-open Derek Arnold, who fired the puck into an empty net from the left circle to give UML its first lead of the night.
Millan continued to look shaky as the period progressed, but was able to get to the locker room with just the one-goal deficit. Lowell outshot BU by an astonishing 15-3 ratio by the period’s end.
The River Hawks continued where they left off in the second stanza, scoring less than two minutes into the middle frame. Michael Budd took what looked to be a relatively harmless shot from the top of the right circle, but Millan had trouble handling it and pushed a bouncing rebound out to Scott Wilson, who batted the puck into the back of the net for his second tally of the season.
Millan’s biggest blunder came just 11 seconds later when Daniel Furlong slid the puck toward the net from an impossible angle along the red line. The puck hit the goaltender’s skate and rolled into the net for Furlong’s first collegiate goal and a 4-1 Lowell lead.
From there on, Boston University lost any momentum that they had left and played most of the remainder of the game in their own zone.
“It was a horrible game; not one guy played well,” said BU head coach Jack Parker. “They (BU) played like they are better than they are and they need to give themselves a long look and live up to that because they don’t play the game the way it is supposed to be played.”
Lowell took a 6-1 lead into the locker room after goals by Terrance Wallin and David Vallorani.
Wallin scored his second goal of the season on a wrist shot from the left circle and Vallorani scored his first of the season on the power play with just eight seconds left in the frame.
The third period proved to be more of the same for the two clubs with Lowell outshooting BU, 14-5, and keeping composure through some chippy play.
The final goal of the game came from Derek Arnold. Wilson was able to win a battle for the puck behind the net and get it to Stephen Buco, who sent a perfect pass to Arnold in the slot who beat Grant Rollheiser, who had replaced Millan, to up the lead to 7-1.
The win marks the River Hawks’ third of the season and their first in Hockey East as they move to 3-3 and 1-2, respectively.
“Tonight, things really went our way,” said Bazin. “We’re just trying to get our chances and give the best effort possible.”
With the loss, Boston University falls to 3-3-1 overall and 2-2-1 in Hockey East.
Lowell won the special teams battle, going 3-for-8 on the man advantage while killing all six of the Terriers’ opportunities.
Carr got the job done in net for Lowell, turning away the final 15 shots he faced after the opening goal.
“Give Lowell credit, but we were a pond hockey team tonight,” said Parker. “We think we’re good, real good, but we’re not a good team. (The BU players) need to realize that they’re playing like a last place team in this league. They think they’re better than they are.”