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Tonight on NBCSN: Hockey East championship — UMass-Lowell vs. BU

Mar 23, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT

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Doug Carr, Matt Lane

No. 1 UMass-Lowell Riverhawks vs. No. 3 Boston University Terriers — 7:00 p.m. ET

UMass-Lowell won season series 3-0-0

Yesterday’s semifinals turned out to be surprising for Boston University and went according to plan for UMass-Lowell. The Terriers got down 2-0 to hated rival Boston College only to storm back with five unanswered goals to roar into the finals with a 6-3 victory. Meanwhile, the Riverhawks got the kind of test from Providence’s Jon Gillies they were expecting as he stood on his head to keep the scoring down only to break through in the third period to win 2-1.

While Lowell has a NCAA tournament berth virtually locked up, even with all of the upsets yesterday, BU needs to win to make the big dance. One of the keys they needed yesterday was a standout performance in goal from freshman Sean Maguire and they got it as he stopped 41 shots. He’ll need to do more of the same against an equally potent Lowell lineup.

For BU to get the kind of output they got yesterday could be asking a lot of them. Lowell’s freshman goalie Connor Hellebuyck did his thing again yesterday stopping 33 of 34 shots to hold down the fort. The Terriers getting to BC goalie Parker Milner is one thing, but scoring on Lowell is something they haven’t done well this year. The Terriers have just four goals in three games against Lowell with three of those coming in the teams first meeting of the season with their backup, Doug Carr, in goal.

Beating Hellebuyck will require a big effort from the guys who showed up big last night. Forwards Matt Nieto, Wade Megan, and Danny O’Regan will have to lead the way to get coach Jack Parker back in the NCAA tournament one last time before retiring. If BU can’t hold down the likes of Scott Wilson, Joseph Pendenza, Riley Wetmore, and Derek Arnold, however, it’ll be all for naught.

(Photo: Boston Globe)

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