By Seth Helman
Boston University News Service
LOWELL — The Boston University men’s hockey team defeated UMass Lowell 4-3 in a shootout Saturday night, securing the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Hockey East conference tournament.
The regular season shootout win was BU’s third in program history after Hockey East briefly featured shootouts in the 1994 and ’95 seasons. In-conference shootouts returned for this year, with the game officially considered a tie, giving BU a final record of 10-3-1.
“It was kind of exciting,” Albie O’Connell, BU’s head coach, said during his post-game presser.
The Terriers scored on their first two shots from Wilmer Skoog and David Farrance before the River Hawks responded with two goals on their second and third tries. Robert Mastrosimone had the game-winner with BU’s fourth shot after the lone miss came from Jay O’Brien.
“It was interesting because O’Brien jumped third and we didn’t even know he was going,” O’Connell said. “He was the only guy who didn’t score, so next time we’re gonna have to put a handcuff on him and handcuff him to the bench so he doesn’t jump.”
O’Brien scored in the first period, extending his points streak to six games, with five goals and five assists over that span.
The Terriers came back twice in the first period, first falling behind 1-0 with eight minutes left before O’Brien’s goal. The Terriers fell behind again 2-1 with 1:28 left, leading to the highlight goal of the night when freshman Luke Tuch deflected and handled a River Hawk clearing attempt in front of the net. He did this while putting home a wrist shot with less than a second remaining in the period.
Domenick Fensore scored the only goal in the second period to give the Terriers a 3-2 lead, shooting off of a blocked shot rebound in the slot before UML senior captain Charlie Levesque scored the only goal in the third to tie the game. Levesque had two goals on the night and scored in the shootout in his final regular season home game.
The Terriers took two “too many men on the ice” penalties on Saturday, the second of which allowed UML to tie the game in the third period.
O’Connell said he didn’t blame the team for the second penalty, as there was some interference by the River Hawks that he said helped cause the penalty.
The Terriers, who secured the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Hockey East conference tournament, will play at home next, hosting the quarterfinals on March 14. Their opponent will be determined on March 10, following the result of the opening round games.