Evan Rodrigues tallies first hat trick, Boston University tops UMass-Lowell
LOWELL, Mass. -- Senior Evan Rodrigues continued his torrid tear on Friday night, recording his first collegiate hat trick before adding his 100th career point to lift the No. 3 Boston University to a 5-2 road victory against No. 13 UMass-Lowell at Tsongas Center.
BU extended its win streak to six games -- its longest in nearly six years -- to improve to 18-4-4 overall and 12-2-2 in Hockey East play.
The Terriers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, as junior Ahti Oksanen scored in the opening minute and Rodrigues potted a pair before the first nine minutes expired.
Rodrigues capped what would be a natural hat trick late in the second period to push the BU lead to 4-0.
After Lowell cut the deficit in half with two markers early in the third, junior Matt Lane followed up a rebound at the crease on a power play to make it a 5-2 contest with 11:45 to play.
Rodrigues picked up an assist on the Lane tally to cap a four-point night and reach the 100-point mark for his BU career. Rodrigues, a senior, has 12 points (3g, 9a) during the past three contests and is now on a nation-best 11-game point streak during which he has registered 27 points (7g, 20a). He has multi-point efforts in each of the past six games.
Freshman Jack Eichel picked up three primary assists in the game while junior Danny O'Regan added a pair of helpers. Junior Matt O'Connor turned in a 27-save effort to pick up his 15th victory of the season.
Lowell, which got goals from freshman C.J. Smith and sophomore Evan Campbell, held a 29-25 shot advantage. The Terriers went 1-for-4 on the power play and killed off four of the River Hawks' five chances with the man advantage.
Just 38 seconds into the game, senior Cason Hohmann found Oksanen at the foot of the right circle for a quick strike by the visitors. Sophomore Robbie Baillargeon also assisted on the play.
Shortly after, Rodrigues started his big night after a cross-slot pass by Eichel found him at the right crease for an easy tap-in at the 3:01 mark.
Just more five minutes later, Eichel set up Rodrigues again on an odd-man rush, who scored from the inner edge of the left circle at 8:16 to make it a 3-0 cushion for the Terriers.
The lone goal of the second period came from the stick of Rodrigues, as he scored from nearly the same spot as his second lamp-lighter off a feed by O'Regan, who picked up his second assist of the night.
Eichel and MacLeod took penalties four seconds apart at the end of the second period to give the home team a lengthy 5-on-3 advantage to start the third. BU nearly got the kill, but Smith got the River Hawks on the board on a goal from the bottom of the right circle 1:22 in the final frame.
The 4-0 BU lead was cut in half by the 5:41 mark of the third when a rebound made its way to Campbell as he was skating towards the left post.
That's as close as Lowell would get, however, as the Terriers cashed in on a power play at 8:15 when Lane potted his sixth goal of the season.