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NORTH ANDOVER, MA. - Pat Watson (Waltham, MA) stopped 31 shots as the Warriors exploded for four third-period goals and snapped a 17-game winless streak against the University of Maine in a 5-1 win Friday night at Lawler Arena.
The Warriors were 0-15-2 against the Black Bears dating back to February 9, 2002 and had not scored five goals in a game since defeating RPI 5-3 on October 29, 2005.
Five different players posted two points, including J.C. Robitaille (Des Ruisseaux, Quebec) who tallied a short-handed goal to start the scoring and added an assist on Kurtis Astle's (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) third-period goal.
After missing the last four games with an injury, captain Derek Pallardy (Chesterfield, MO) returned to the ice and posted a goal and an assist.
With the score tied 1-1 in the third, Matt Jones (Kentwood, MI) gathered a loose puck in front of Maine goaltender Ben Bishop and beat him short-side for the eventual game-winning goal, his team-leading sixth of the season. Joe Loprieno (Bloomingdale, IL) got the puck to the net for the primary assist, his first of two assists on the evening.
Astle made it 3-1 two minutes later, scoring his first collegiate goal, and Pallardy delivered four minutes later, at 12:37 with Merrimack's fourth tally. Chris Barton (Calgary, Alberta) added a power-play goal late, his third, assisted by Jones and Rob Ricci (Brampton, Ontario).
Tom DeRosa (Charlestown, MA), appearing in his first game, notched the primary assist on Pallardyís tally. Ricci continued his dominance in the face-off circle, winning 21 of 28 draws.
Watson was named the game's first star and kept the score tied late in the second with some big saves as Maine outshot Merrimack 9-4 in the second.
The Warriors (5-4-1, 2-4-1 HEA) will host Maine again Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Lawler Arena in their third game of a four-game homestand.