Winner Take All at the Tsongas: River Hawks Even Series
LOWELL -- More goals means more hockey.
UMass Lowell, which had only scored seven total goals in its previous five games, erupted offensively Saturday night as the River Hawks staved off elimination with a 6-4 victory over Boston University in the Hockey East quarterfinals before 3,130 fans.
Game 3 is Sunday (4 p.m.) back at the Tsongas Center.
Tempers flared with 7.5 seconds left when UML freshman Lucas Condotta hit BU captain Bobo Carpenter along the boards at center ice, injuring Carpenter and prompting plenty of pushing and shoving. Seventy-five minutes in penalties were called after a lengthy review.
UMass Lowell (19-12-5) received two goals from Ryan Dmowski (Nos. 13, 14), and single ones from Chase Blackmun (No. 5), Kenny Hausinger (No. 12), Reid Stefanson (No. 8) and Nick Master (No. 6).
Junior goaltender Tyler Wall made 27 saves after UML coach Norm Bazin turned to him after Christoffer Hernberg played well during a 3-0 loss Friday.
Dmowski also set up a goal for a three-point night. Mattias Goransson dished out two assists for the River Hawks.
With UML holding a slim 5-4 lead after two periods, Master scored the lone goal of the third period. Master scored 1:07 into the frame.
Jake Oettinger made 19 saves for BU (15-17-5).
Facing elimination, the River Hawks played an inspired first period, skating out to a 3-0 lead thanks to two power-play goals and strong goaltending from Wall.
After being shut out in Game 1, UML finally sent a puck past Oettinger 3:37 into the game when Blackmun blasted a low slap shot into the BU cage. Oettinger acted like he never saw the puck due to a strong screen. Blackmun’s freshman classmate, Reid Stefanson, set up the power-play goal.
UML made it 2-0 just seconds after a two-man advantage had come to an end. It was still a power-play goal as Connor Wilson, stationed behind BU’s net, threaded a pass to Dmowski, who sent a 15-foot shot past Oettinger at 11:32.
Hausinger brought the fans out of their seats again just 1:03 later to make it 3-0. Holding the puck behind the net, Hausinger held onto the puck for what seemed an eternity before snapping a shot into the top left corner from 20 feet out.
UML had zero goals on 25 shots Friday night; they had three after seven shots Saturday.
Wall was outstanding in the period, making 11 saves, none better than when he stopped BU star freshman Joel Farabee with five minutes left in the first after Farabee had snuck behind the UML defense.
The second period was a scene out of the late 1980s. BU scored four times and UML lit the lamp twice as a commanding UML lead shrunk to 5-4 after 40 frenetic, crazy minutes. The scoreboard operator was exhausted after two periods.
Patrick Curry put BU on the board at 1:19 with a power-play goal from David Farrance. UML regained its three-goal advantage at 3:28 when Dmowski tallied his team’s third power-play strike of the night. Hausinger sprung Dmowski behind the BU defense and the senior didn’t miss, wristing a shot into the top corner.
But UML was playing with fire defensively and the Terriers pull to within 4-3 with two goals 43 seconds apart. Cam Crotty picked the top corner and then Farabee took advantage of retreating UML defenders and finally wristed a shot past Wall at 8:32.
After a UML timeout, the River Hawks took a 5-3 lead at 9:36 when Stefanson took a Ryan Lohin pass and wristed a shot past Oettinger.
But UML made another costly defensive mistake while on the power play, allowing the ever-dangerous Farabee to go on a breakaway, his third of the night. This time the talented freshman didn’t miss, making it 5-4 at 14:28.
Follow Barry Scanlon on Twitter @BarryScanlonSun