The referee does his best to break up a little skirmish involving UMass Lowell’s Josh Holmstrom (left) and Joseph Pendenza, along with
The referee does his best to break up a little skirmish involving UMass Lowell's Josh Holmstrom (left) and Joseph Pendenza, along with BC'sTeddy Doherty and friends during Saturday night's Hockey East game at the Tsongas Center. SUN/JULIA MALAKIE

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LOWELL -- Sixty minutes weren't enough to decide this classic. Nor were 65.

The largest crowd to ever witness a hockey game in Lowell was treated to a dandy Saturday night at the Tsongas Center.

Seventh-ranked UMass Lowell, on the strength of two third-period goals, rallied to tie top-ranked Boston College, 2-2, before a standing-room-only crowd of 7,649.

To put that into perspective, the seating capacity for Tsongas is 6,003.

"It's definitely a good tie," said goaltender Doug Carr, who was here, there and everywhere in making 41 saves. "Obviously we battled back in the third. We showed character.

"We weren't happy with the way we played in the first five periods against them this weekend," Carr said.

One night after being shut out by freshman goalie Thatcher Demko, the River Hawks (20-8-4, 10-5-3 Hockey East) seemed to be in danger of being blanked again by Demko, a San Diego native who likely didn't grow up playing pond hockey.

BC (25-4-4, 16-1-2) carried an outrageous 18-game unbeaten streak (17-0-1) into the game and the Eagles looked every bit the top team in the nation over the first 40 minutes.

Then the River Hawks threatened to blow the roof off their arena with two goals in a 2:27 span.

Adam Chapie brought the fans out of their seats with a power-play strike at 6:42 of the third period. Following a pass by Zack Kamrass, Chapie threaded a shot from the left faceoff circle past Demko.


Senior Josh Holmstrom deserves credit for blocking Demko's view. The goal seemed to breathe new life into the River Hawk bench.

A.J. White netted his fourth goal of the season at 9:09, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Kamrass picked up his second assist following a pass to White, who lifted a shot over BC forward Bill Arnold and high into BC's net.

Carr kept the River Hawks even with 2:45 left in regulation when he denied Hobey Baker favorite Johnny Gaudreau, the most dangerous player in college hockey.

UML outshot the Eagles, 3-2, in an entertaining overtime but Carr and Demko were up to the task.

Carr hadn't played in nearly a month as Connor Hellebuyck had made six straight starts in the UML net. But the senior with the third lowest goals against average in the country was a major reason the game was scoreless after one period.

BC was quicker to the puck and sent 11 shots in Carr's direction.

The Eagles finally solved Carr midway through the second period. With White in the penalty box for tripping, BC scored on the power play.

Gaudreau -- who else? -- pocketed his 29th goal of the winter and nation-leading 63rd point when he nestled a deflected shot inside the left post and past Carr at 10:56.

BC doubled its advantage at 12:52 when freshman Ryan Fitzgerald found the net for the 10th time.

Defenseman Isaac MacLeod broke in two-on-one and deftly moved the puck to the middle to Fitzgerald, who directed it past Carr.

At the end of the second period, UML's Joseph Pendenza broke his stick in the final seconds and it appeared the River Hawks' chances of salvaging a point out of the weekend were broken as well.

UML served notice it wouldn't quit in the final period when Derek Arnold ripped a shot 28 seconds in which appeared to sneak under the crossbar. After a stoppage in play, a video review determined the puck never went in.

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