No. 2 Boston College beats No. 11 Massachusetts-Lowell with Fitzgerald, Demko leading the way


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CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — Late arrivers to Friday night’s game at Kelley Rink likely missed any Boston College offense of consequence.

BC scored twice in the first 10 minutes of Friday night’s game and then didn’t score again until the waning minutes of the third.

The interim was defensive battle between No. 2 Boston College and No. 11 Massachusetts-Lowell. The battle, ultimately, was won by the Eagles, edging out the River Hawks 3-1 on senior night.

The win clinches a share of the Hockey East regular-season championship for the Eagles.

“Lowell is an excellent team,” BC coach Jerry York said. “It was a battle from the drop of the puck right through to the final horn. I thought our goaltender, Thatcher [Demko], was very, very instrumental in the win, especially with some of the [penalty kills] in the second period, with just some incredible saves. Our team battled hard, we blocked some shots when we had to, and I feel really good about the way we played tonight.”

The Eagles struck first on the efforts of Matthew Gaudreau, who fought in the offensive zone to get a puck on net. Gaudreau’s shot was saved by Kevin Boyle, but the rebound fluttered through the air toward Ryan Fitzgerald, who batted the puck out of the air and into the net to give the Eagles the 1-0 lead.

The Eagles added another goal later in the period, this time on the stick of Teddy Doherty. On a counter attack, Doherty and Alex Tuch came into the offensive zone. Tuch put an initial shot on net that was turned aside by Boyle, but Doherty put the rebound past Boyle, and the Eagles had a 2-0 lead.

The two goals that were scored was ultimately enough for the Eagles. Yet the end result did not come easily. After the two goals (and a River Hawks goal by Adam Chapie), the Eagles surrendered seven different power plays. The Eagles stood tall on all seven power plays, with Demko turning aside all 12 shots attempted on the power play by Lowell.

In fact, a Lowell power play gave BC the opportunity to put away the River Hawks.

Austin Cangelosi took a facemasking penalty late in the third period. With the River Hawks having trouble generating anything offensively on the power play, UML coach Norm Bazin chose to pull his goaltender for an extra attacker.

“You gotta go with your gut sometimes,” Bazin said. “Getting a six-on-four is better than getting a five-on-four. We weren’t generating much five-on-four, so you try something because to wait with one minute left you might not have a power play, and only a one-man advantage. I was hoping we could generate more with a two-man advantage.”

The end result was an open net for BC to shoot on, and Fitzgerald took advantage on a shot taken from three-quarters ice. The shot went into the net, and the game was sealed for the Eagles.

Colin White was held out of the lineup Friday night. York revealed that White had a “shoulder situation,” and that he will likely not be available for Saturday night’s game. York said that White should be available for the Hockey East tournament.