Eichel lights the lamp twice, Boston U. grabs Hockey East championship
BOSTON -- Top seed Boston University claimed its eighth Hockey East championship with a 5-3 victory against Massachusetts-Lowell on Saturday night at TD Garden.
The Terriers never trailed en route to earning an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. BU will enter the field of 16 with a 25-7-5 record while UMass Lowell finished its season with a 21-12-6 mark.
This is the Terriers' first Lamoriello Trophy since 2009 when they beat the Riverhawks 1-0. BU will likely be a top seed in the NCAA tournament, which begins next weekend.
Freshman Jack Eichel tallied two goals and added an assist on Saturday and was named Tournament MVP. His third point was his 66th of the season, which is the new single-season program record for points by a freshman.
Eichel was also named to the All-Tournament Team, joining juniors Matt Grzelcyk and Matt O'Connor as unanimous selections. Senior Evan Rodrigues also earned an all-tournament nod.
Grzelcyk tallied three points on Saturday with a goal and two assists. He was one of 11 different Terriers to record a point, a group that included O'Connor, who also stopped 22 shots to improve to 22-3-4 on the season.
Senior Cason Hohmann and freshman Nikolas Olsson each lit the lamp while Rodrigues, junior Matt Lane, sophomores Nick Roberto and Doyle Somerby, and freshmen A.J. Greer and Brandon Hickey each recorded an assist.
After Dylan Zink was whistled for goaltender interference, Grzelcyk opened the scoring with a power-play goal at the 13:08 mark of the first period. Eichel made it 2-0 less than two minutes later with a terrific move in the Lowell zone.
He corralled a Rodrigues pass, skated into the UML end, slid the puck between a Riverhawk's legs and finally through Kevin Boyle's (19 saves) pads.
The Riverhawks got a goal back on a power-play bid late in the opening period, but Hohmann answered 5:38 into the second stanza to regain the Terriers' two-goal advantage.
O'Connor maintained that scoreline with a sensational glove save on Zack Kamrass; the junior netminder moved to his left and somehow got his glove to Kamrass' shot.
Olsson made it 4-1 with 44.5 seconds remaining in the period. Grzelcyk and Olsson were on a 2-on-1 rush and the junior captain slid the puck to Olsson on the left wing, who had his stick on the ice and ready to tap in his sixth goal of the season.
Lowell made it a 4-2 game just 6:47 into the final frame, and it stayed that way until Eichel notched his 24th goal of the season with 5:27 remaining in regulation.
Michael Louria tried to spark a UML comeback with a goal at the 16:52 mark, but it was not enough despite the Riverhawks employing an extra attacker for the final minute of the contest.