BOSTON, Mass. - Sophomore Brian Chambers (Weymouth, Mass.) netted the third-period, game-winner to lift the No. 7 seeded UMass Lowell hockey team (9-8-1) to a 2-1 victory at No. 2 Boston University (10-4-1) in the 2021 Hockey East Quarterfinals on Sunday.
With the victory, the River Hawks have now won six of their last seven quarterfinal appearances and are headed to the Hockey East Semifinals for the 19th time overall.
"We're excited about the win," said Head Coach Norm Bazin. "It was a hard-fought battle. All the guys competed very hard. I thought our third period was our best period. This is a great time of year to be playing. We get to live to fight another day here, so we'll concentrate on taking some time off and coming back on Wednesday."
As a team, UMass Lowell dominated on the puck possession, and outshot BU, 29-17. Sophomore Matt Brown (Wood Ridge, N.J.) also added a goal in the victory. Freshman Henry Welsch (Lakeville, Minn.) totaled 16 saves, including 10 in the second period, to earn his first career post-season decision. Drew Commesso registered 27 stops for the Terriers in the loss.
Both sides came out on the attack to open the game, with a goal for each side in the first five minutes. The Terriers got on the board first just over two minutes into play, as Dylan Peterson skated the puck along the boards and over the blue line before dishing to Jamie Armstrong, who was crashing towards the far post for the finish.
The River Hawks answered right back at 4:30, though, when junior Jon McDonald (Livonia, Mich.) fired a slap shot from just outside the left circle that found Brown's stick for the deflection on net. The visitors kept the pressure on, putting a total of 12 shots on goal in the first period, but the teams went into the locker rooms knotted at 1-1.
Although UMass Lowell outshot BU once again in the second, it was the Terriers who took a slight, 10-6 edge in chances on goal. However, Welch and the River Hawk defense held steadfast to keep the stalemate intact.
The physical, hard-fought battle continued into the third and final period with both sides looking for a break. It came at 8:19 in favor of the River Hawks, when junior Reid Stefanson (Winnipeg, Manitoba) chipped the puck away from the boards and over towards sophomore Andre Lee (Karlstad, Sweden) for the redirect towards an oncoming Chambers, who wound up from inside the near circle for the goal.
"When I saw the rolling puck, I just wanted to shoot it as hard as I could," explained Chambers. "Luckily it bounced in and that's how it goes. It was a big goal, and I'm just pumped for my team."