LOWELL, Mass. - UMass Lowell hockey couldn't keep pace with second-ranked Boston College on Saturday night, falling 5-1 in front of 6,488 fans in a sold out Tsongas Center. The River Hawks' lone goal came off the stick of junior Matt Ferreira (Brampton, Ont.).
The loss drops the River Hawks record to 4-20-2 overall this season and 3-16-0 in conference play. The Eagles get a boost to 18-6-0 with the win, 14-5-0 in Hockey East action.
Boston College cast the first and only stone in the opening period. Brian Gibbons (Braintree, Mass.) rushed down the far board and fired a centering pass to Cam Atkinson (Greenwich, Conn.) at the net front. Atkinson tapped the puck into the goal at 4:43 into the first to grant the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
The second period was equally quiet, but Boston College notched its second score at 5:40 into the middle frame. Looking to clear the puck from danger, goaltender Marc Boulanger (Olds, Alta.) fired the puck up the boards. Junior Jimmy Hayes (Dorchester, Mass.) anticipated the move and cut off the clear attempt along the far boards and ripped an uncontested shot into the empty net before Boulanger could recover.
The River Hawks' fortune appeared to be changing early in the third as Ferreira put UMass Lowell on the scoreboard at 7:04 into play. Maury Edwards (Rocky Rapids, Alta.) took a shot from the point that was tipped by Shayne Thompson (Stittsville, Ont.). John Muse (East Falmouth, Mass.) made the save, but Ferreira whacked at the rebound only to be stifled by Muse again. Ferreira stayed on the hunt, grabbing the rebound once more and this time found some space for his ninth goal of the season, cutting the deficit to one.
Ferreira's goal was as close as UMass Lowell would get, allowing three Boston College scores over the remainder of the game. Atkinson, Kevin Hayes (Dorchester, Mass.) and Bill Arnold (Needham, Mass.) all found the mesh to runaway with the 5-1 victory.
Boulanger finished the night with 38 saves, but was responsible for all five goals. The freshman fell to 0-8-1 overall despite making 35 or more saves in each of his last two starts. Muse improves to 15-4-0 overall, stopping 29-of-30 shots.
Both teams struggled on the power play, with UMass Lowell coming up empty in eight chances while the Eagles were 0-for-5. Despite the deficiencies, Atkinson's second score of the night came short handed.
With tonight's game in the books, the River Hawks now turn their attention to Friday night as they travel to Boston University. Looking to keep their momentum, the Eagles will host Massachusetts on Friday in the Conte Forum.