Adam Chapie tees up the puck just before his first of two goals in the River Hawks’ victory over Boston University Saturday night at the Tsongas Center. (Photo by George DeLuca/Connector)
A hat trick by junior defenseman Dylan Zink and two goals from senior forward Adam Chapie paved the way for a 6-3 victory for the No. 11 UMass Lowell River Hawks (18-7-5, 11-5-4 Hockey East) over the No. 7 Boston University Terriers (17-9-4, 10-5-3 Hockey East) Saturday night in front of 6,103 at the Tsongas Center.
The River Hawks played an advantageous game, repeatedly turning Terrier miscues into goals throughout the contest despite being outshot 39-28.
“It seemed like every mistake we made ended up in the back of our net,” Boston University Head Coach David Quinn said.
Zink opened the scoring for the River Hawks with a wrist shot near the left faceoff circle that beat Terrier goalie Sean Maguire above his glove at 11:26 in the first period. A.J. White and Ryan Dmowski earned assists on the goal.
The Terriers responded less than two minutes later with a wraparound goal from freshman forward Bobo Carpenter after a defensive breakdown at 13:03 in the first.
Zink gave UMass Lowell a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission, however, with his second goal of the evening with a shot from just inside the blue line at 17:46 in the period. He then completed the hat trick at 3:13 in the second period to get things going for the River Hawks, good for his ninth goal of the season.
Zink’s hat trick is the first by a UMass Lowell defenseman since Dave Barozzino completed the feat against Michigan State in the NCAA tournament on Mar. 26, 1996.
“It’s definitely something you’ll remember,” Zink said. “You’ve got to give a lot of credit on those first two goals to net front presence.”
Chapie added two goals in the second period to extend the River Hawks’ lead to 5-1 and put the game out of reach for Boston University. Quinn’s attempt to shake up his team by pulling the struggling Maguire fell by the wayside, as Chapie’s second goal came just nine seconds after putting sophomore Connor LaCouvee in net.
There was no quit in the Terriers, however, as Oskar Andrén scored from just outside the UMass Lowell crease at 14:52 in the second period to cut the River Hawks’ advantage to 5-2.
White earned the second of his two points on the night with a goal near the Boston University crease in which he batted a puck that bounced off LaCouvee’s right pad out of the air into the net at 15:13 in the third period to put UMass Lowell up 6-2. Dmowski, as well as Joe Gambardella, were also multi-point scorers, each with two assists.
As the Terriers desperation for a victory mounted, so did their shots on goal. Goalie Kevin Boyle stopped 35 of 38 shots with 29 of his saves coming in the second and third periods.
“He’s been our most consistent performer all year long, and there were several great contributions tonight … but Kevin continues to be a star every night he plays,” UMass Lowell Head Coach Bazin said.
Once again, the Terriers fought back with a late third-period goal from Brandon Fortunato, but the 6-3 deficit was too large to for the visitors with only 2:15 left in the game. Quinn pulled his goalie while on the power play with two minutes in regulation, but Boyle and the River Hawks stymied any offensive chances in the final minutes.
While penalty minutes racked up for both teams, the game only saw a total of five power play opportunities due to two sets of coincidental minor penalties in the first period. Even with talented special teams units, neither team scored on with the man advantage, and UMass Lowell did not record a shot on goal in their two chances.
In a crucial battle for Hockey East playoff positioning, UMass Lowell’s victory keeps them in fourth place in the conference with 26 points behind Notre Dame (30), Boston College (28) and Providence (27). The River Hawks widened their lead over Boston University (23) to three points and can finish no lower than fifth in the conference standings.
“You want to play good teams heading into playoffs because you’re going to face those same type of teams,” Bazin said. “I think every win you get in this league builds a group dynamic, so this one was a good win tonight, especially after a tough one last night.”
The River Hawks take to the road to face American International College in Springfield, Mass. Tuesday at 7 p.m.