Weekend Recap: UMass-Lowell Completes Season Sweep of Boston University

#12/10 Massachusetts-Lowell (18-9-2, 12-8-2 HE)
vs #19 Boston University (14-14-2, 11-9-2 HE)

UML_BUWhen: Friday, February 22nd at 7:30pm EST
Place: Agganis Arena, Boston, MA
Final Score: UMass-Lowell 3, Boston University 0

Three Stars of the Game:
1 – Connor Hellebuyck, G, UML (25 Saves, Shutout W)
2 – Joseph Pendenza, F, UML (1 Goal, 1 Assist, +1)
3 - Joe Houk, D, UML (1 Assist, +2, GWA)

Box Score | Post Game Reactions | Photo Gallery

“Connor Hellebuyck and UMass-Lowell Shutout Boston University”
BOSTON, Mass — Boston University is now winless in their last five home games for the first time since they moved to campus in 1971 after the 3-0 loss to UMass-Lowell.

Connor Hellebuyck stopped all 25 shots that were fired at him to complete his third shutout of the season in his eighth straight victory. Hellebuyck exits tonight game with a 9-1-0 record, 1.58 GAA and a .942 save percentage. “The state is we have two capable goalies that can go on any give night” said Bazin, when asked about the goaltending situation for UMass-Lowell. Both Doug Carr and Hellebuyck are capable number one goaltenders, but it sure looks like Hellebuyck will get the starts until Bazin see something to make the change.

Even before tomorrow nights tilt at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, UMass-Lowell wins the season series over Boston University 2-0-0. The River Hawks have now won three straight games over the Terriers, dating back to February 18th of last season. UMass-Lowell moves to 11-8-2 on the season and 13-2-1 in the last 16 games.

Meanwhile Boston University slips to 14-13-2 and 2-6-2 in their last 10 games. The Terriers sit even with the River Hawks in the Hockey East standings, tied for 5th. Saturday night will determine who moves up in the standings. The recent skid has seen Boston University drop all the way to 18th in the PairWise rankings (as of 10:23PM EST) and in risk of missing the NCAA Tournament.

UMass-Lowell “got better as the game went along” said Norm Bazin. Neither team played all that well in the first period. Their was only one shot on net in the game first five minutes of play. Boston University lead the game in shots after the first period, 7-4. With a total of 4 (3-1 in favor of BU) Grade A chances, not much scoring will take place. Norm Bazin continued to state [the River Hawks played] “a mature third period.” A goal by Wetmore at 14:55 and only allowing three Grade A chances for Boston University in the third, is a mature third period.

Saturday night is the season finale in Lowell, although the season series has been won by the River Hawks, the game has a lot of weight in both the Hockey East standings as well as the national tournament. Puck drops at 7:00pm.

(Originally posted on HockeyEastNews.com)

UML_BUWhen:  Saturday, February 23rd at 7:0opm EST
Place:  Tsongas Center, Lowell, MA
Final Score: UMass-Lowell 3, Boston University 1

Three Stars of the Game:
1 - Joseph Pendenza, F, UML (1 Goal, 1 Assist, GWA)
2 – Scott Wilson, F, UML (1 Goal)
3 - Connor Hellebuyck, G, UML (15 Saves, W)

Box Score | Post Game Reactions | Photo Gallery

“UMass-Lowell Sweeps Boston University”
LOWELL, Mass. — In front of a crowd of 5,979, the UMass-Lowell River Hawks finished the season sweep of the Boston University, beating the Terriers, 3-1. The win marks UMass-Lowell’s fourth straight victory over Boston University and moves the River Hawks in front of the Terriers in the Hockey East standings.

UMass-Lowell was the more dominant team in Saturday night’s game, out-shooting Boston University 39-16. The River Hawks managed to tally 12 shots in the first period and a goal by Scott Wilson. Just inside the blue line, Wilson fired a slap shot that caught Maguire by surprise and put the River Hawks up 1-0 at 5:47 in the first period. This is the second night in a row that Wilson had netted a goal of that kind of magnitude. The River Hawks skated in their offensive zone for most of the first period, tallying 24 chances to Boston University’s eight. The Terriers were “squeezing the sticks too tight” said head coach Jack Parker. The frustration of the game was spilling over in the Boston University play.

The River Hawks took the 2-0 lead 9:57 into the second period on a four-on-one breakaway goal. The initial shot was taken by Joseph Pendenza, however off the juicy rebound, junior defenseman, Chad Ruhwedel lifted it past, Boston University net-minder, Sean Maguire. UMass-Lowell had controlled the entire game until, Evan Rodrigues netted Boston University’s first goal at 8:25 into the third period. The short-handed goal broke up the second shutout in a row for UMass-Lowell and Hellebuyck. The Terriers hadn’t been shutout two nights in a row since December of 1941, three days after Pearl Harbor.

Boston University was back in the game, on the scoreboard at least. The River Hawks controlled the third period, like they had for most of the game with only allowing Boston University to get off three shots on net. Joseph Pendenza put the River Hawks up, 3-1, with a 7:55 left in regulation, sealing the win for UMass-Lowell and earning Pendenza the first star of the game honors.

Boston University gave UMass-Lowell plenty of opportunities to really put the game away, committing 10 penalties on the night. UMass-Lowell didn’t capitalize only nine of the 10 opportunities, the one weakness for the River Hawks during the victory.

Coach Bazin decided to go with, freshman goaltender, Connor Hellebuyck in net once again. After a stellar season last year, junior goaltender Doug Carr looks to have been relegated to a back-up role. Hellebuyck has started between the pipes in the teams last four games and has won them all. It may be a case of going with Hellebuyck until he makes a mistake, which he hasn’t lately. Hellebuyck is the owner of a 10-1-0 record with a 1.53 goals against average and a .942 save percentage. With three games in five days, one wonders if Bazin will go with Carr in net when UMass-Lowell visits Boston College on Tuesday.

“I’ll think about that tomorrow,” said Bazin when asked if he would start Carr on Tuesday. “In my time here as a player and as assistant coach I didn’t have many wins against BU, so I’m going to take some time, sit back and enjoy this”

(Originally posted on InsideHockey.com)

What’s Next?: The River Hawks play a home-and-home against Boston University next weekend. Next weekend’s series is a fight for positioning in the Hockey East standings.

Justin Soderberg covers Hockey East for Inside Hockey and Hockey East News, as well as the UMass-Lowell River Hawks for View from 123. In addition he covers the Boston Red Sox for RantSports.com. Follow him Twitter: @thegreatjustin

Justin Soderberg has covered the UMass Lowell River Hawks and Hockey East for over two years. Soderberg also contributes to Boston Bruins coverage for Inside Hockey. Follow him on twitter: @JMSoderberg