The Boston College men’s hockey team knocked off UMass Lowell in their first game of Hockey East play this season, coming away with a 3-2 win. The Eagles jumped out to an early lead and looked like they might run away with this one, but Lowell fought back and it took a third period goal from an unlikely source to take the first game of their weekend series.
It didn’t take long for BC to get the scoring started, with Ryan Leonard getting on the board on just the second shift of the game. Gabe Perreault won a puck battle after a great forecheck and slid a pass to Leonard in the low slot, who fired a perfect wrist shot into the net to give BC a 1-0 lead just 51 seconds into the game. Cutter Gauthier made it a 2-0 game about halfway through the period, scoring on a power play goal just seconds after hitting the post on another shot. Gauthier did what he’s been doing best all season on the power play, hammering home one timers from the right circle, and his seventh of the year doubled BC’s lead in the early going. Lowell got a goal back just about a minute later to make it a 2-1 game and although the Eagles had some great looks in the second half of the period, they had to settle for that score after the first 20 minutes of play.
Lowell tied things up just over a minute into the second, putting home a loose puck after Jacob Fowler was unable to control a loose puck right next to his crease. BC had a number of chances to get back in front after losing their lead, including shots from both Colby Ambrosio and Andre Gasseau that beat the goalie but hit the post to keep the score tied. Fowler made up for his earlier mistake with a few nice saves as the period went on but the Eagles weren’t able to break through and the score remained tied headed into the third period.
BC took the lead back early on in the third period on an unreal individual effort from Aram Minnetian. Minnetian took the puck near the point and skated down the board before driving to the middle of the ice. He was able to keep the defenders off of him and cut across the net, tucking the puck around the goalie for his first collegiate goal to give BC a 3-2 lead. The Eagles made sure that goal held up, as they limited Lowell’s chances for the rest of the period while putting together a few good looks of their own. Things got a bit dicey late when BC took yet another too-many men penalty and Lowell pulled their goalie to give them an extended 6-on-4 opportunity, but the puck stayed out of the net and BC took home a 3-2 win to start the weekend on the right foot.
This was a nice way to start Hockey East play for the Eagles, who move to 6-1-0 on the season. Lowell always manages to put together a tough team and they hung with BC for the whole game, but Minnetian’s great individual effort was enough to take the win. The Eagles will have a chance to make it a clean sweep tomorrow night when they travel to Lowell to close out this weekend series.