BOSTON - The No. 14/13 Boston University men's ice hockey team overcame a pair of early goals by UMass Lowell, reeling off the game's final four tallies to post a 4-2 victory on Sunday evening in the third and decisive game of the teams' Hockey East quarterfinal series. Playing in his final game at Agganis Arena, senior Pete MacArthur scored a pair of goals, helping the Terriers improve to 19-16-4.
For the seventh straight season, BU will be making an appearance at the TD Banknorth Garden for the Hockey East semifinal round. The second-seeded Terriers will face third-seeded Vermont in the second semifinal match-up at 8 p.m. on Friday (March 21).
Sophomore Brett Bennett stopped the final 21 shots he faced as part of a 24-save performance. Freshman Nick Bonino started the rally with his 16th goal of the season and later set up the game winner, which came from the stick of junior Jason Lawrence.
The River Hawks, who close their season with a record of 16-17-4, got first-period goals just 20 seconds apart from sophomore Kory Falite and freshman Scott Campbell. Sophomore netminder Carter Hutton made 23 saves on the night.
For the third straight night, the River Hawks scored on their first power play opportunity. Falite scored from just above the right circle on assists from freshman Maury Edwards and sophomore Ben Holmstrom at 7:43 of the first.
Just 20 seconds later, Campbell collected a rebound below the net on the left side and backhanded the puck to the crease. An improbable deflection off Bennett's skate snuck through, suddenly making in a 2-0 game in the visitors' favor.
Following a timeout, the Terriers regrouped and not only tied the game, but entered the first intermission with the lead. Bonino got the Agganis crowd back into the game when he intercepted a puck at the blue line and skated towards the cage before beating Hutton high stick-side at 9:04, just 61 seconds after Campbell's tally.
MacArthur knotted the game at 11:44 on a 5-on-3 power play, burying the puck from the right side on assists from juniors Chris Higgins and Brandon Yip.
The run continued for the Terriers at 14:34 of the first when Bonino turned around in the slot and threaded a perfect pass to Lawrence at the right post for the go-ahead goal. Senior Kevin Kielt also assisted on the play for his first point of the season.
BU held a 17-9 shot advantage in the opening stanza, but the River Hawks' eighth and ninth shots provided a tough test for Bennett in the final minute. However, the sophomore saved a shot by Falite before stuffing a point-blank effort from sophomore Paul Worthington on the ensuing rebound.
MacArthur provided a key insurance tally at 7:56 of the middle period. Following a battle along the right boards, senior Bryan Ewing got the puck to MacArthur, who saw sophomore Brian Strait streaking towards the far post. Before the puck could get to Strait, it went off the skate of a UMass Lowell defender and into the net.
The Terriers had another great chance to extend their lead later in the second with an extended power play that included a 5-on-3 with one defender without a stick and a 5-on-4 where two River Hawks were without sticks. UMass Lowell somehow survived the stretch and took with it some momentum.
Bennett, however, kept the two-goal lead intact by making a handful of highlight stops and keeping the River Hawks scoreless for the final two periods