UMass Lowell tops Boston College, earns first-round playoff bye

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John Edwardh helps UMass Lowell top BC. (Photo/John Corneau/Mill City Sports)
John Edwardh helps UMass Lowell top BC. (Photo/John Corneau/Mill City Sports)
John Edwardh helps UMass Lowell top BC. (Photo/John Corneau/Mill City Sports) UMass Lowell UMass Lowell tops Boston College, earns first-round playoff bye JohnEdwardh
John Edwardh helps UMass Lowell top BC. (Photo/John Corneau/Mill City Sports)

LOWELL, Mass. — The UMass Lowell River Hawks closed out the Hockey East regular season with a big win over the Boston College Eagles at the Tsongas Center on Saturday night, 3-1.

“It was a great overall effort. I thought we gutted it out,” said UMass Lowell Head Coach Norm Bazin. “The urgency was better throughout the game and the penalty kill was strong. We still have some work to do in certain areas, but overall you’ve got to be happy with that.”

Teams would rather have their playoff hopes solely be up to them, but sometimes that doesn’t work out for them. The River Hawks needed to win on Saturday night, but needed some help from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the same time. Help they got when Notre Dame defeated Boston University and allowed the River Hawks to take the final bye in the Hockey East playoffs.

Saturday night was a special night as the River Hawks honored the six seniors on the UMass Lowell roster including A.J. White, Adam Chapie, Michael Fallon, Robert Francis, Ryan McGrath and Kevin Boyle.

Co-captian White had some energy and excitement with it being senior night and got the River Hawks off to a better start then the previous night. White tallied the game’s first goal at 9:17 of the first period.

“[Senior night] was very exciting,” said White. “All of us together had a good time and it’s all that much better when you get the outcome that you want. We all came together and really enjoyed it as a team.”

The Eagles’ Alex Tuch evened the score at 4:34 of the second period and kept Boston College’s hopes alive to take the sole possession of the regular season title.

After UMass Lowell drew a late penalty in the second period, Boston College started the third period with the man advantage. However, it didn’t seem to phase Tyler Mueller who fired a beautiful shot at 21 seconds of the third period from just inside the blue line to take the lead while shorthanded.

John Edwardh sealed the deal for the River Hawks at 6:47 of the third period. Edwardh ended the night with two points on six shots.

Boyle stopped 19-of-20 shots to pickup his 20th win of the season. Thatcher Demko stopped 27-of-30 shots fired at him by the River Hawks in the loss.

With the win and Boston University’s loss the River Hawks will not be in game action during the first round of the Hockey East playoffs. UMass Lowell will host the top remaining seed during the quarterfinals on Friday, March 11.

In the first round BU hosts Massachusetts; Northeastern hosts Maine; Merrimack hosts New Hampshire; and UConn hosts Vermont.

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