Entering its matchup against UMass Lowell on Friday, Boston College men’s hockey had gone five games without a win. Even though the Eagles weren’t extremely outmatched during this stretch—their biggest deficit was a 6–3 loss to Boston University on Jan. 27—BC has not found the win column. A similar story occurred Friday night in Lowell.
The Eagles (9–10–6, 5–7–5 Hockey East) tied UMass Lowell 2–2 through overtime, but it was the River Hawks (15–9–2, 9–5–2) that came away with the extra point in Hockey East standings after winning a four-round shootout.
Special teams were at the forefront in the first period, as the River Hawks recorded two power-play opportunities while BC had one. BC earned its first power-play 4:39 into the opening frame, but the Eagles failed to generate any quality scoring chances during the advantage.
Just 20 seconds after BC’s power play expired, it was UMass Lowell’s turn to play up a man. Officials called a five-minute major on Mike Posma for contact to the head. Despite being tasked with an extended, five-minute power play, Mitch Benson and the BC penalty kill unit stood tall, keeping the game scoreless.
It had appeared that the Eagles gained some momentum after killing off the major penalty, with both Colby Ambrosio and Lukas Gustafsson finding chances right in front of UMass Lowell goaltender Gustavs Davis Grigals. But Grigals, the nation’s leader in save percentage with a .934 save percentage, denied the Eagles’ shots.
A cross-checking penalty called on Oskar Jellvik gave the River Hawks another power-play opportunity with less than four minutes left in the first period. And this time, UMass Lowell cashed in. Scout Truman received a cross-ice pass and wristed a shot above Benson’s glove and into the back of the net to put UMass Lowell up 1–0 with 2:53 left in the first frame.
After Cutter Guathier won a faceoff, the Eagles leveled the score. Andre Gasseau then kicked the puck to Trevor Kuntar, who rifled a hard shot from the top of the left faceoff circle past Grigals. The goal marked Kuntar’s ninth of the season.
Neither team scored until the Eagles struck with just under five minutes to play. Eamon Powell passed the puck from the right point to his younger brother Seamus Powell at the left point. Seamus Powell skated inward and fired a hard wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that beat Grigals to put BC ahead 2–1.
The goal not only gave BC the lead, but it was the first goal of Seamus’ collegiate career.
“It was pretty special,” Powell said at the second intermission during NESN’s broadcast. “We did that a million times in the basement and outside. For it to become a reality was pretty cool.”
The Eagles’ late-period struggles, however, continued. A tripping penalty on Liam Izyk put the River Hawks back on the power play with 1:21 to play. It looked like BC would escape into the second intermission ahead, but Filip Fornåå Svensson scored on a hard wrist shot with just five seconds remaining in the period to tie the game at 2–2.
A scoreless third period and overtime took the game to a shootout.
Powell scored first in the shootout, but it wasn’t enough as the River Hawks squeaked in back-to-back makes against Benson. UMass Lowell’s Brian Chambers sealed the win for the River Hawks in round four of the shootout, extending BC’s winless streak to six games.