The Hockey East season kicked off Friday, and it didn’t take long for the first surprise victory.
The 17th-ranked UMass-Lowell River Hawks got off to a good start in their Hockey East title defense with a 5-2 win over No. 4 Boston College. They did it in front of a record-setting crowd of 7,326 fans at Tsongas Arena.
The Eagles took a quick 1-0 lead 2:26 into the first period with a goal off the stick of Chris Calnan, but that lasted about five minutes. That’s when the River Hawks (1-0-0) went on a tear and scored three goals — from Evan Campbell, Michael Fallon and and Michael Louria, respectively — in under seven minutes.
Ryan Fitzgerald put the Eagles (0-1-0) in reach with a goal at the end of the second period. BC certainly had its chances to tie things up — the Eagles had 10 shots on goal in the third period — but Lowell’s defense held strong.
Robert Francis increased Lowell’s lead with a goal midway through the third period, and Joe Gambardella put the nail in the Eagles’ coffin with an empty-net goal in the final seconds.
The River Hawks will host Quinnipiac on Friday, Oct. 17. BC travels to Rochester, N.Y., to take on RIT on Saturday, Oct. 18.
Around the League:
Ohio State 5, Providence 4 (OT): The Friars entered the season with high expectations after being ranked No. 1 in the conference by media and coaches, but they lost their season opener to the Buckeyes (1-0-0) of the Big Ten Conference. Providence (0-1-0) lost a 4-3 lead 12:10 into the third period, and it took Ohio State just 28 seconds into overtime to take the W.
Boston University 8, UMass 1: The Terriers (1-0-0) went to Amherst and delivered a beating to the Minutemen (0-1-0). BU senior forward Evan Rodrigues registered a hat trick, and UMass freshman Jake Horton scored the lone goal for UMass.
Merrimack 3, Holy Cross 2: Merrimack pulled out the win, thanks to a late third-period goal from senior defenseman Justin Mansfield. Holy Cross, of the Atlantic Hockey conference, was going for the upset after the Warriors (1-0-0) blew a 2-0 lead, but Merrimack was able to hold off the Crusaders (0-1-0).
UConn 2, Penn State 2: The Huskies (0-0-1) started their season outside of Hockey East and ended up with a tie against the Nittany Lions (0-0-1). Sophomore goalie Rob Nichols registered 33 saves for UConn.
Photo via Twitter/@hockey_east