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BOSTON — After winning a marathon semifinal against Providence on a goal deemed good on review, it seemed that Massachusetts-Lowell’s Hockey East Tournament fortunes were turning around.

On Saturday, the luck ran out.

In its fourth-consecutive conference tournament final, fourth-seeded Mass-Lowell lost 3-2 to sixth-seeded Northeastern at TD Garden, on a Zach Aston-Reese goal with 8:57 left in the third. The loss is the second-consecutive final where the River Hawks watched someone else raise the Lamoriello Trophy.

A year ago, Boston University defeated the River Hawks 5-3, preventing a chance for three-straight finals triumphs.

“We’re happy to be a part of (the NCAA tournament) this year, whereas last year, obviously we got left out,” Mass-Lowell Coach Norm Bazin said. “It will be good for the guys to get back in the mix here tomorrow after the selections are made.”

The situation is not as disappointing as last year for the River Hawks, as they locked up at least an at-large bid for the NCAA tournament after defeating Providence late Friday night. Their exact opponent will be determined on Sunday at noon., when the NCAA Tournament selection show airs on ESPNU. Regardless of where they go, or who they have to play, they won’t be an easy out.

Saturday night just wasn’t the River Hawks’ time, despite out-attempting the Huskies 47-33 in even-strength situations and 58-42, overall. Granted, the stage was set, but they ran into the freight train that is Northeastern. The Huskies are the hottest team in the country, winners of 13 straight and 21-2-3 since losing to Mass-Lowell in the opening game of the Friendship Four in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Thanksgiving weekend.

Bazin’s team was undoubtedly affected by the 112:27 it took to beat the Friars in the semifinal, and while Northeastern had to play until the early hours of Saturday morning, playing three periods of hockey instead of five and one-half frames made a difference.

“We lost a 3-2 game after playing almost two games last night,” Bazin said. “That’s life. That’s hockey. The kids are resilient. They’re a good bunch, and they’ve had a good season so far, so they’ve earned a selection. We’ll see where they go tomorrow.”

After Northeastern opened the scoring just 1:12 into the game on a pretty Adam Gaudette goal set up by the slick passing of forwards Mike McMurtry and Dylan Sikura, the River Hawks responded well through sophomore John Edwardh’s goal less than two and one-half minutes later. While Huskies’ forward Nolan Stevens gave his team a 2-1 edge less than seven minutes in, Mass-Lowell took over in the second period.

Senior Adam Chapie put one past Northeastern goaltender Ryan Ruck, but it would be the last time the River Hawks would light the lamp, despite controlling play for long stretches.

Boyle had a spectacular Hockey East Tournament, regardless of his team’s shortcomings at the finish line. In four games, the goaltender posted a .958 save percentage, helping him to a spot on the Hockey East All-Tournament Team and most valuable player of the tournament.

The senior’s production was a significant part of the team’s success this year, and will play a big role if the team plans on making a run in the tournament. Mass-Lowell’s defense is second in the country with 1.82 goals allowed per game. It’s anchored by Boyle, one of the most impressive goaltenders in the country. Through 37 games, he has a .935 save percentage, tied for third in the country, along with seven shutouts, tied for second in Division I.

Despite another disappointing outcome at the Garden, Boyle remains optimistic looking forward to the regionals.

“It’s a whole new tournament,” Boyle said. “It’s a chance to win a national championship. Providence won it last year won it last year without winning the Hockey East championship, so we know we can do it. We know we have the team in there. We just gotta believe in ourselves and work pretty hard.”

Mass-Lowell may be disappointed that Saturday didn’t pan out like 2013 and 2014 did, but with this missed opportunity comes one more chance for a trophy. This team has the talent to get to the Frozen Four, but it needs consistency and support from its hot goaltender and stout defense to make it happen.

Avoiding three overtime victories might help, too.