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BOSTON, Mass. - An offering from sophomore Colby Cohen redirected off the skate of senior Chris Higgins and into the net to break a third-period tie and boost the fourth-ranked Boston University men's ice hockey team to a 3-2 win over UMass Lowell on Friday evening at Agganis Arena. Sophomore Joe Pereira tallied a goal and an assist for the Terriers, who close the first half of the season with an 11-4-1 overall record and 6-4-1 mark in Hockey East play.
The Terriers rallied from deficits of 1-0 and 2-1 to stretch their unbeaten streak to five games (4-0-1). Junior Zach Cohen scored the game-tying goal late in the second and freshman goaltender Kieran Millan turned in a 22-save performance to improve to 8-1-1 on the season.
The River Hawks, who fall to an even 8-8-0 overall and 5-6-0 in league play, got goals from freshman David Vallorani and sophomore Maury Edwards. Junior Nevin Hamilton got the start in goal and stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced before leaving late in the second due to an injury. Fellow junior Carter Hutton replaced him and made 10 saves the rest of the way.
BU's penalty kill was key to the victory, as UMass Lowell came up empty on all six of its power-play opportunities. The Terriers have now killed of 24 of their last 25 penalties, including each of their last 17.
With the score knotted at 2-2, the Terriers mustered the game-winner on their fourth power-play try of the evening.
Sophomore Kevin Shattenkirk controlled the puck at the top of the zone and passed off to classmate Colin Wilson, who was positioned in the right circle. Wilson slid the puck across the way to the left circle, where Colby Cohen one-timed a shot that got a little help by glazing off the skate of Higgins and into the net at 7:38 of the third.
Higgins' blades also came into play in the second period, as a goal that would have broken a 1-1 deadlock was waved off after it was ruled that the puck was directed in off his skate.
Vallorani opened the scoring just 64 seconds into the game, as a pass by BU senior co-captain John McCarthy went off the skate of UML freshman Michael Budd and right to Vallorani, who wristed the puck underneath Millan's left leg from the top of the slot.
BU threatened to tie the game throughout the first period and did just that with 57 seconds left in the stanza when Pereira picked up a rebound on the doorstep and pushed it around and past Hamilton. Freshman David Warsofsky took the initial shot and Shattenkirk also picked up an assist on the play.
After Higgins' called-off goal, the visitors regained the lead at 14:17 of the second when Edwards took a shot from the left point that managed to get through traffic before finding the top right portion of the net. Sophomore Scott Campbell and junior Kory Falite assisted on the play.
BU wasted little time in tying the game again, as Pereira - who was behind the goal - fed Zach Cohen at the top of the crease for a tally at 15:41 of the middle period. Junior Luke Popko picked up the secondary assist on the goal.
The River Hawks nearly took their third lead of the night early on the third after capitalizing off a BU turnover, but a shot off the ensuing rush rang off the crossbar.
After the Terriers took the lead in the eighth minute of play in the third, they were forced to kill off one more penalty when senior Brandon Yip went to the box for the third time on the evening. The penalty kill was up to the task, however, and also held off a flurry by the visitors in the closing minutes to seal the victory.
BU, which enters the semester break with 11 wins for the first time since the 1999-00 season, returns to action on Jan. 2-3, when it heads to Colorado to compete in the Wells Fargo Denver Cup. The Terriers will face Rensselaer in the opening round before taking on either Holy Cross or tournament host Denver on the second day.