Seniors Michael Budd (Burlington, Ont.) and Matt Ferreira (Brampton, Ont.) dug UMass Lowell hockey out of a two-goal deficit, but top-ranked Boston College pulled away to hand the River Hawks a 4-2 loss in their 2011-12 home opener on Friday night. UMass Lowell enjoyed a powerful home-ice advantage as 5,162 fans turned out in support.
The River Hawks slipped to 2-2-0 on the season and 0-1-0 following their Hockey East debut. The Eagles improved to 6-1-0 on the campaign and a perfect 4-0-0 in conference action.
Boston College jumped onto the scoreboard first as Paul Carey (Weymouth, Mass.) buried his second goal of the season at 3:18 into play. Carey dished to Brian Dumoulin (Biddeford, Maine), who immediately crossed the puck back to Carey in the slot for a searing wrist shot into the mesh.
The Eagles expanded their lead in the second period, potting another tally at 4:24 into the middle frame. Patch Alber (Clifton Park, N.Y.) put a shot on net from the far corner that Doug Carr (Hanover, Mass.) saved, but the rebound kicked to Steven Whitney (Reading, Mass.) for the put-back tally.
Facing a two-goal deficit, the River Hawks came roaring back with two scores of their own in the second period. Near the eight-minute mark, freshman William Eiserman (West Newbury, Mass.) passed to David Vallorani (Hamilton, Ont.) behind the goal line and the senior dished instantly to Budd in the slot. Budd's initial shot was blocked, but he quickly recovered the loose puck and sniped a shot over the goaltender's shoulder for his second tally of the season.
UMass Lowell kept the pressure on, scoring again at 15:57 into the second. Vallorani set up Joseph Pendenza (Wilmington, Mass.) in the slot and his shot sailed high, but hit Ferreira in the mask to deflect into the net.
Despite the momentous comeback, Boston College scored twice over the remainder of the game to claim the victory. Johnny Gaudreau (Carneys Point, N.J.) potted a tally at 18:42 into the second and Barry Almeida (Springfield, Mass.) filled an empty net with just over a minute remaining in regulation.
For the night, the River Hawks' Carr fell to 1-1-0 on the season while recording 16 saves. The Eagles' Parker Milner (Pittsburgh, Penn.) tallied 37 saves en route to his sixth win of the year. UMass Lowell went 0-for-4 on the power play, while Boston College converted 1-of-4 opportunities.
The two teams will rematch on Saturday night to complete the home-and-home weekend. The puck will drop in Chestnut Hill at 7 p.m.