Despite winning, BU falls out of national rankings

By Michael Wood

A four-goal explosion in the first period helped snap a four-game skid by the Boston University men’s ice hockey team on Saturday evening.

Home against Merrimack, and in position to lose five straight games, the No. 17 Terriers rose to the occasion and posted a 6-4 victory at Agganis Arena.

Sophomore Chris Connolly helped avenge a Friday loss to the Warriors by tallying two goals and an assist for BU. Sophomore goaltender Grant Rollheiser made his first start of the year after an injury-plagued first month, and recorded a career-high 25 saves, turning away 12 in the third period alone to help the Terriers hold on for the victory.

After ending the first period down 4-0, Merrimack rallied and made it a 5-4 contest midway through the third. Freshman Stephane Da Costa registered a goal and two assists, and junior Joe Cucci tallied another. The Warriors, however, simply couldn’t overcome the play of Rollheiser.

BU improves to 3-6 on the year with a 2-5 record in Hockey East play, but dropped out of the Associated Press Top 25 national poll. Merrimack moved to 6-4 overall and 3-2 in Hockey East play with the loss.

River Hawks extend streak

No. 5 UMass Lowell took on Alabama-Huntsville Saturday, and came away with a 4-0 victory, putting its current win streak at three games.

The River Hawks scored first, waiting just over five minutes. After a costly turnover, captain Ben Holmstrom beat goaltender Cameron Talbot to put UMass Lowell on top.

Goaltender Carter Hutton posted his second shutout of the season, stopping all 19 Charger shots. The shutout was Hutton’s eighth of his career, which tied former goalie Cam McCormick’s record River Hawk career shutouts.

The win boosts UMass Lowell to a 7-2-1 overall record, including a 4-0-1 mark in its last five contests, and propels it to a No. 4 ranking in the national polls. Alabama-Huntsville slides to 3-7-0 overall, losing its sixth consecutive game.

Cats split with Eagles

In the first of a two game series, 4988 fans came out to see Boston College trounce Vermont 7-1 Saturday in Hockey East play.

Freshman Steven Whitney scored his first two collegiate goals, and sophomore Jimmy Hayes recorded four assists to lead the Eagles to the win. BC led 2-1 after one period and 4-1 after two periods before adding three goals in the first 10 minutes of the final.

The Eagles scored on 3-of-4 power-play opportunities while limiting the Catamounts to one power-play goal on seven chances.

In game two on Sunday, however, the Cats would not be denied. They led 2-1 after two periods and capitalized on an Eagle five-minute major penalty with a goal by junior Justin Milo in the final period. Senior Mike Spillane finished with 30 saves, and Vermont held off a late charge to earn a 3-2 win and a series split.

The Catamounts move to 4-4-1 overall and 3-3-1 in Hockey East play, putting them just one game behind the Eagles, who drop to 4-3-1 overall and 3-3-1 in the conference.

Michael Wood can be reached at [email protected]