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BOSTON, Mass. - Senior Pete MacArthur tallied two goals and an assist and junior linemate Chris Higgins added a pair of goals, helping the second-seeded Boston University men's ice hockey team earn a 5-3 victory over seventh-seeded UMass Lowell in the opening game of their Hockey East quarterfinal series on Friday evening at Agganis Arena. The No. 14/13 Terriers extend their home winning streak to seven games and improve to 18-15-4 on the season.
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The Terriers allowed the game's first goal, but reeled off three straight tallies to take a lead they would never relinquish. The visitors got to one on two occasions - at 3-2 and 4-3 - but BU got a late empty-netter from Higgins to seal the victory.
In addition to a 26-save performance from sophomore goaltender Brett Bennett, the Terriers also had the defensive play of the game, as freshman Colby Cohen blocked a third-period shot while sprawled in the crease in front of virtually open net. The River Hawks, which fell to 15-16-4 on the year, got a 28-save effort from sophomore Carter Hutton.
Senior Bryan Ewing assisted on both of MacArthur's goals, while UMass Lowell got a goal and an assist each from freshman Maury Edwards and sophomore Paul Worthington.
UMass Lowell used a great effort from its power play to stay in the game, going 3-of-5 with the man advantage. The Terriers' power play also had a good night, converting on two of its four chances.
After senior Brian McGuirk evened the game at 1-1 with his fourth goal of the season, MacArthur scored the go-ahead goal less than two minutes later. Higgins earned a power-play marker at 12:41 of the second to give the Terriers a 3-1 lead.
The River Hawks made it a 3-2 game early on in the third, but MacArthur potted the eventual game winner on BU's fourth and final power play of the evening. Worthington once again made it a one-goal affair with 6:17 to play before Terriers withstood the late charge to earn the win.
Junior Mark Roebothan opened the scoring on the game's first power play when he snuck the puck inside the near post from the right side at 6:09. The tally ended BU's shutout skein at 128:55.
McGuirk evened the score when he managed to sneak the puck past Hutton from the top of the left circle at 16:10 of the first on assists from freshman Colin Wilson and senior Ryan Weston.
Just under two minutes later the Terriers took a lead they would never relinquish. Junior Matt Gilroy sent a puck towards the net from the right side and MacArthur collected it at the bottom of the slot and pushed it in before Hutton could get a piece of it.
After coming up empty on its first power-play chance early on in the second, the Terriers cycled the puck well on their second opportunity, capped off by a nifty one-timer in front of the cage by Higgins. Freshman Kevin Shattenkirk and MacArthur collected helpers on the play, which came at 12:41 and was the lone goal of the middle stanza.
Following a hooking call on Ewing in the opening moments of the third, the River Hawks made it a one-goal affair on a power-play tally at 1:28 by Edwards from the top of the BU zone. Sophomore Jeremy Dehner and Worthington were credited with assists on the goal.
MacArthur and Ewing teamed up in transition for the eventual game winner at 6:56 of the third. Following a lead pass by junior Brandon Yip, MacArthur dished off to the left side for Ewing, who returned the puck with a perfect pass that was redirected by MacArthur over Hutton right in front of the crease.
Cohen made his key block in the crease just past the midpoint of the third, but UMass Lowell continued to put on the pressure and used yet another power-play chance to make it a 4-3 contest. After sophomore Kory Falite blasted a shot wide, the puck came off the back boards to the left post, where Worthington collected it and sent off Bennett's back and into the net at 13:43.
The BU defense came through the rest of the way and Higgins closed the door in the final seconds when he intercepted a puck just outside the Lowell zone before turning and sliding the puck just inside the left pipe into the empty net.
The two teams will return to the ice on Saturday (March 15) for game two of the series. Game time is set for 7 p.m.