David Vallorani (Hamilton, Ont.) scored a goal and an assist as the #18 River Hawks defeated third-ranked Boston College on Friday night in front of a crowd of 5,988 in the Tsongas Center.
The win marks UMass Lowell hockey's eighth in the last night games as its record soars to 10-4-0 on the year and 7-3-0 in Hockey East action. Friday also marked the River Hawks first win against the Eagles since Feb.12, 2010, halting a string of six consecutive losses. Boston College falls to 12-6-0 overall and 9-4-0 in conference play.
The Eagles appeared to have the upper hand early in the contest after a game-misconduct on UMass Lowell put Boston College on a five-minute power play. The advantage was negated by a hooking call and the River Hawks sprung into action during the 4-on-4 hockey with a goal by Vallorani at 4:57. Defenseman Chad Ruhwedel (San Diego, Calif.) threaded the needle with a pass through center ice to Vallorani, who deked a Eagle and skated in alone to beat Brian Billett (Brunswick, Maine) for his fifth goal of the year.
UMass Lowell's lead grew to two later in the first as Derek Arnold (Foxboro, Mass.) converted on a cross to the goalie's weak-side from Matt Ferreira (Brampton, Ont.) at 12:07.
After a storming first period by the River Hawks, Boston College came out flying in the second and was able to slash the lead in half at 1:40 into play. Steven Whitney (Reading, Mass.) skated down the near boards and curled towards the net. As he closed in, the junior found Barry Almeida (Springfield, Mass.) camped five feet outside the crease for the quick-fire goal.
UMass Lowell recaptured the fire early in the third period and was able to push the score to 3-1 near the midpoint on a breakaway tally by Joseph Pendenza (Wilmington, Mass.). Stephen Buco (North Providence, R.I.) hit Pendenza with the breakout pass and the speedy forward got behind the defense for his fourth goal of the year at 8:04.
With time winding down the Eagles kept fighting and were able to notch another tally with 47 seconds remaining. Utilizing an extra attacker, Bill Arnold (Needham, Mass.) hammered home a goal at the edge of the crease from Chris Kreider (Boxford, Mass.) to pull the game within one.
Despite the heightened drama, the River Hawks held on for the victory--their first over a team ranked in the top-3 in the country since Feb. 19, 2005, a 4-1 win over #1 Boston College.
Recording his eighth consecutive win in net, sophomore Doug Carr (Hanover, Mass.) improved to 9-1-0 after stopping 23-of-25 shots. The Eagles' Billett fell to 3-1-0 while making 24 saves on the night.
Up next, UMass Lowell heads to Northeastern at 7 p.m. on Saturday in its final game before the holiday break. Boston College now begins its holiday break, staying off until Dec. 29 when they face Michigan in the Great Lakes Invitational.