CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Joseph Pendenza figured into two goals, including the go-ahead goal 15:13 into the third period, to lead No. 12 UMass Lowell against No. 4 Boston College 4-2 on Tuesday night in a Hockey East clash in front of 3,708 at the Conte Forum.
The win was UMass Lowell’s fifth in a row as it improved to 19-9-2 overall and 12-8-2 in Hockey East. UMass Lowell ascended into a four-way deadlock for first place with 28 points alongside the Eagles, New Hampshire and Providence. The River Hawks also avoided a sweep to the Eagles as it had lost the previous two meetings: 1-0 at the Tsongas Center on Oct. 26 and 6-3 at the Conte Forum two days later.
The victory also was UMass Lowell’s first at the Conte Forum since a 6-0 win Feb. 13, 2009.
Boston College slipped to 18-9-3, 13-8-2 in Hockey East.
Christian Folin broke a 2-2 tie when, on a counter, he and Pendenza played a give-and-go nicely, resulting in a saved shot from Pendenza on the left. The rebound, however, went to Folin, who tipped home into an empty right side of the net.
Folin has four goals and 11 assists in his past 15 games while Pendenza has 6-13-19 in his past 13 appearances.
Connor Hellebuyck stopped 22 shots en route to his 10th consecutive victory and an 11-1-0 record.
UMass Lowell opened the game the way it had its two previous games: a slapshot goal by Scott Wilson. On a power play, Riley Wetmore cleared from the middle of the crease to Pendenza, who drew the defender and slid to Wilson inside the right circle who one-timed past Boston College goalie Parker Milner 10:41 into the first period.
The Eagles leveled quickly as Travis Jeke sent a shot which Bill Arnold redirected past Hellebuyck at 12:40.
Just 23 seconds later, Pendenza won a puck along the left side and centered to Josh Holmstrom, who slapped home underneath Milner.
The River Hawks nearly took a 3-1 lead 7:25 into the second period when, during a power play, Chad Ruhwedel let fly from the point and dinged the crossbar.
The Eagles again fought back and equalized 8:40 into the third period. On a power play, Arnold took a centering pass from Brooks Dyroff from the left side, got between two defenders and shoveled underneath Hellebuyck.
Boston College continued to pressure and pulled Milner with roughly a minute remaining. Ruhwedel won a battle in the Eagles’ zone and flicked to Wetmore along the right board, who found space and wristed home into the empty net.
UMass Lowell outshot Boston College 29-24, including 10-5 in the third period. Milner (18-8-3) stopped 25 shots for the Eagles.