It was a wildly frustrating night for Boston College men’s hockey at the Tsongas Center as Lowell took the first game of a home-and-home series against the Eagles by a score of 3-2.
It was frustrating for so many reasons — first, because the Eagles just couldn’t get anything going in the first period but were tied at 0-0 despite only putting up 4 shots. Then because everything fell apart in the 2nd period with the River Hawks taking a 2-0 lead. Then finally because after mounting a heroic third period comeback, Lowell scored the game-winner just a minute later to take the wind right out of BC’s sails.
UMass-Lowell Goal #1: 2:58 of the 2nd period
Ryan Collins (Mattias Göransson, Colin O’Neill)
UML 1, BC 0
Lowell opens the scoring after the refs miss a tripping call just before the goal. It's 1-0 River Hawks... pic.twitter.com/KdcMgACupv— BC Interruption (@bcinterruption) January 27, 2018
It was a pretty rough start for BC, and it got worse in the second period once Lowell started scoring goals.
JD Dudek gets yanked down by a River Hawk while trying to play the puck, but there’s no call. That leads to Lowell keeping possession, and it’s just a quick crossing pass from there from a tip in our front by Collins to make it 1-0 Lowell.
UMass-Lowell Goal #2: 13:20 of the 2nd period
Ryan Dmowski (Connor Wilson, Niklas Folin)
UML 2, BC 0
Tough break for the Eagles as Jesper Mattila blows a tire in the neutral zone and the River Hawks pounce for the goal. 2-0 UML. pic.twitter.com/lVWZMKeIF5— BC Interruption (@bcinterruption) January 27, 2018
Just past midway through the 2nd period, the River Hawks double their lead thanks to some bad luck for the Eagles.
Players were falling down all night for both teams, but it was the worst possible timing for Jesper Mattila at center ice. He goes down and can’t swat the puck away from Dmowski, who pounces into the Eagle end with the puck. He’s got a late developing two on one, but opts to take it himself. He buries it for the 2-0 lead.
Boston College Goal #1 (PPG): 2:08 of the 3rd period
Graham McPhee (Aapeli Räsänen, Connor Moore)
UML 2, BC 1
Graham McPhee scores on the power play and the Eagles are right back in it! UML holds a 2-1 lead in the 3rd. pic.twitter.com/owu9g6lB70— BC Interruption (@bcinterruption) January 27, 2018
But out of nowhere in the third period, the Eagles started showing some signs of life. After looking dead in the water for pretty much the entire game, they get one back thanks to a power play chance and some blue collar work around the net.
Connor Moore takes the initial shot from up high into traffic, and it creates chaos in front of the net. The puck bounces around, and Räsänen gets a stick on it before finally McPhee cueballs the puck past Tyler Wall to get the Eagles on the board.
Boston College Goal #2: 5:24 of the 3rd period
Graham McPhee (Christopher Brown)
BC 2, UML 2
MCPHEE AGAIN and the Eagles have tied it 2-2! pic.twitter.com/OF4WtLCWWp— BC Interruption (@bcinterruption) January 27, 2018
Just a few minutes later, the Eagles tie the game in what would have seemed like an absolute miracle just a few minutes earlier. It’s Graham McPhee again, this time with a more conventional shot after an Eagle goes flying in the middle of the play, breaking up some space where McPhee finds the puck. He fires away and beats Wall, and we’ve got a brand new hockey g...
UMass-Lowell Goal #2 (GWG): 6:30 of the 3rd period
Chris Schultz (Ryan Lohin, Croix Evingson)
UML 3, BC 2 — FINAL
...but Lowell answers just a minute later to re-take the 3-2 lead pic.twitter.com/cf4DIjKJuG— BC Interruption (@bcinterruption) January 27, 2018
...Well, we had a brand new hockey game for all of one whole minute before Lowell re-took a lead that would not relinquish.
It’s not the best defense for the Eagles. Ryan Lohin’s pass across the neutral zone isn’t anything otherworldly, and yet somehow it catches the BC defense off guard and Schultz has all the room in the world to skate into the Eagle end. By the time he shoots, he’s all the way at the faceoff dot, and his shot beats Woll low blocker side to give Lowell the 3-2 win.
While the game looked to be out of reach with 20 minutes to go in the game, to have the comeback complete and still lose is just a heartbreaker, and killer for BC’s position in the Pairwise. The Eagles are really going to need to come away with a split Saturday evening to stay within striking distance of the NCAA tournament bubble.