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LOWELL, Mass. - The second-ranked Boston University Terriers scored five unanswered goals en route to a 7-4 victory over #6 UMass Lowell on Friday night in the Tsongas Center. Senior Matt Ferreira (Brampton, Ont.) led the River Hawk offense with a goal and assist, in front of a sold-out standing room only crowd of 6,706.
UMass Lowell dropped into a tie with Maine for third-place in Hockey East with a record of 19-9-0 overall this season and 14-8-0 in conference play. The win vaulted the Terriers into a tie with Boston College for first in Hockey East, sporting a record of 18-10-1 overall and 14-7-1 in league action.
The River Hawks kicked off the shootout early in the first period, potting a rebound goal at 5:53 into play. Freshman Stephen Buco (North Providence, R.I.) put a shot low on goaltender Kieran Millan (Edmonton, Alta.) and the rebound kicked to Michael Budd (Burlington, Ont.) for the second-chance tally.
That goal appeared to wake up Boston University as it proceeded to score five unanswered goals over the next 28 minutes of action.
The first in the string came less than two minutes after Budd's tally as Wade Megan (Canton, N.Y.) knocked in a rebound off of Patrick MacGregor's (Hamden, Conn.) shot from the near point.
The Terriers followed with another score at 13:18 as Alex Chiasson (St. Augustin, Que.) scored the first of three Boston University power play goals, connecting on passes from Chris Connolly (Duluth, Minn.) and Matt Nieto (Long Beach, Calif.).
Yasin Cisse (Westmount, Que.) closed out the first frame with his second goal of the season, while Connolly extended the score to 4-1 early in the second period with a power play tally from Chiasson and Nieto.
The Terriers' fifth goal of the night came at 14:40 into the second period after Chiasson broke up a pass to the blue line, knocking the puck into neutral ice for Adam Clendening (Wheatfield, N.Y.). Clendening skated in alone on goaltender Doug Carr (Hanover, Mass.), beating Carr for his third goal of the year.
UMass Lowell finally broke the momentum in the closing moments of the second period with its lone power play goal of the evening. David Vallorani (Hamilton, Ont.) dished to Ferreira in neutral ice and the senior center skated into the corner before finding Malcolm Lyles (Miami Gardens, Fla.) in the slot. Lyles one-timed the puck over Millan's right leg pad for his first collegiate goal.
The River Hawks cut the deficit to 5-3 just 20 seconds into the third period on a tic-tac-toe play from behind the net for a score from Riley Wetmore (Swanton, Vt.), his 10th of the season.
Boston University shattered that momentum swing just under two minutes later as Ross Gaudet (Burlington, Mass.) emerged from the penalty box only to have the puck bounce to him all alone. Gaudet charged into the UMass Lowell zone and buried his third of the year.
The two clubs traded goals before the final horn blew as Ferreira scored for the River Hawks at 7:32 and Nieto potted the puck for Boston University at 11:10, settling the final score at 7-4.
Carr struggled in net, dropping to 18-6-0 on the season while allowing six goals on 23 shots. He was replaced early in the third period and Marc Boulanger (Olds, Alta.) played the final 17 minutes, stopping 5-of-6 shots. The Terriers' Millan made 38 saves on the night, improving to 16-10-1.
The two teams will lace up the skates one more time on Saturday, switching venues to the Agganis Arena in Boston at 7:30 p.m., live on NESN.