UMass-Lowell stuns BC, 4-3

BC's men's hockey continued their slump with a heart breaking loss last night to UMass-Lowell. With a one goal lead and less than a minute to play, the Eagle's lack of discipline and focus caught up with them. The Riverhawks tied it with a late goal and went on to win it in overtime.

BOSTON – With Boston College's first victory since November 30th just 45.5 seconds away, UMass-Lowell's Scott Campbell fired a rebound past netminder John Muse to tie the score, 3-3.

The Riverhawks found more last minute magic in overtime, as Nick Schaus's power play goal with 44.5 seconds left in the extra session lifted Lowell to a stunning 4-3 victory over BC at Conte Forum. The win snapped Lowell's six game losing streak, while extending BC's winless streak to five.

The Eagles were victimized by a lack of discipline, taking six consecutive penalties to end the game – highlighted by a 5 minute major on Nick Petrecki for hitting from behind with just 25 seconds to play in regulation which gave the Riverhawks a power play throughout overtime.

Petrecki racked up nine penalty minutes, increasing his team leading total to 81; Carl Sneep, Cam Atkinson, and Benn Ferriero also did time in the sin bin.

"We played Lowell and we played ourselves, which is awfully hard to do. Self-inflicted wounds to our own team – six straight penalties, capped off with a 5 minute major. You're not going to win any games in our league doing that," said head coach Jerry York after the game. "The teams in our league are good enough without helping them out like that."

"It's not a matter of [being in a slump]… we should be able to just play the other team without the discipline problems we have," continued York. "We're not proud of how our club played tonight."

In the other locker room, UMass-Lowell coach Blaise MacDonald beamed with pride.

"It would be an understatement to say we absolutely needed that game," he said. "We've lost a lot of one goal games this year, which can get into your psyche a little bit."

Now, late game woes may be burning into BC's psyche: it was the second time in three games that the Eagles have been burned by a late, game-tying goal. Last week, Brian Roloff's goal with one second remaining lifted Vermont to a 3-3 tie in Burlington.

"Like I said, self-inflicted wounds," York said. "We want to get better in all facets of the game – our power play, our discipline, our neutral zone play – it all has to get better. There are a lot of things to work on."

The Eagles started off strong, taking a 1-0 lead just 4:58 into the first period. Andrew Orpik shoveled a pass to Tim Filangieri, who skated in between two defenders before slipping a backhand pass to a wide open Kyle Kucharski near the top of the left faceoff circle. Kucharski smoked it past Carter Hutton to put BC on top – his third goal in as many games and his seventh of the season.

The Riverhawks struck back later on in the first, wearing down BC with wave after wave of attack. Lowell's forwards pinned BC's checking line of Kucharski, Orpik and Matt Price deep in their own end for over a minute, all while executing a line change of their own. With their top unit on the ice, Lowell defenseman Jeremy Dehner dumped the puck in deep, where it bounced off the back boards and onto the stick of Patrick Cey, who ripped it over Muse at 13:35 to tie the score.

At that point, the Riverhawks were outshooting the Eagles 11-4. But BC started to find their groove late in the first period, rattling off eight shots in the final six minutes of the frame. Their energy carried into the start of the second period, but penalties derailed BC's momentum. Petrecki's bench minor at 13:43 set up a power play goal for Lowell's Maury Edwards, putting the visitors in the lead for the first time on the night.

"I thought that as the game went on, we played better, but in the 2nd period we had 4 penalties," York said. "It's hard to get momentum on your side when you do that."

A great individual effort by Ben Smith got BC going again late in the second period. Smith busted down the right wing side and into the attacking zone, where he squeezed his way around Dehner. After his dance along the boards, he slid a precise feed across the slot to Barry Almeida, who knocked it past a helpless Carter Hutton.

Brock Bradford's team-leading 15th tally of the season gave BC a 3-2 lead at 8:05 of the 3rd period, but the Eagles couldn't hold off Lowell's last minute surge. "We won the faceoff [in the final minute], but we didn't hold up," York said. "[Campbell] got in there quick and got the puck."

BC now slumps into Saturday night's showdown with #2 Boston University with a 9-7-3 record, and a 5-6-3 mark in Hockey East play. With their win, Lowell moved into 6th in Hockey East with a 9-11-0 (6-7-0) mark.

"We'll wake up in the morning and then we'll prepare for the Terriers. But right now, we have to solve some problems that we had tonight," York said.

"We're not playing our best hockey, that's for sure. We have to grind it out and find our way through this."


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