BOSTON -- Things have not been going well for the No. 13/15 Boston University Terriers at home this season and that trend continued on Friday night in Agganis Arena as the No. 12 UMass Lowell River Hawks earned a 3-0 win to take the season series and set up a chance for a sweep on Saturday at Tsongas Center.
With the win, Lowell exercised the so-called "constant thorn in its side" as they earned set and tiebreaker, thanks to a 4-3 win back on Jan. 19.
"I thought it was a great road game for UML," said BU head coach Jack Parker. "They shut us down on the initial rush...It was a good effort [for us], but we just could not execute against their four-man back defense. I am disappointed on our lack of offense and not getting any points."
BU’s loss extended its home winless streak to five games (0-4-1), dating back to Jan. 4 against RPI, marking a first since the Terriers moved games to campus in 1971. Overall, they are 2-6-2 over the last nine games, but was just the fourth since the start of the new year that was decided by more than a goal.
UML took its lead to a commanding level at the 14:55 mark as junior Joseph Pendenza fed senior captain Riley Wetmore for a backhander in front that found its way under the pads of BU rookie Matt O'Connor for the 13th goal of the season by the Swanton, Vt. native.
With a goal and an assist, Pendenza, a Wilmington, Mass. native, earned second star honors. Junior Joe Houk, who joined the River Hawks this season from Division III Hamilton College, was named the game’s third star as broke out to set up their first goal of the game - a Scott Wilson slapper from the right circle at 5:35 of the second period.
Additionally, UML rookie Connor Hellebuyck earned his third consecutive victory in as many games as he made 25 saves, including ten in the final period, to improve to 9-1-0 on the season.
"We have two capable goaltenders," UML head coach Norm Bazin said. "It is certainly a nice luxury to have at this time of the year...but this was a team shutout and we did a nice job closing up [on defense in front of him."
Joshua Kummins covers Hockey East for SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter @JoshuaKummins.