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LOWELL, Mass. (Nov. 24, 2007) - Mark Roebothan (St. John's, Nfld.) recorded his first career hat trick as UMass Lowell defeated Merrimack, 6-2, Saturday night in Hockey East action at the Tsongas Arena.
The River Hawks have won two straight and improve to 4-3-4 overall and 2-3-4 in league play. The Warriors have dropped two in a row and fall to 6-6-1 overall and 3-6-1 against the league.
The hat trick for Roebothan is the first of his career and the first for a UMass Lowell player since Danny O’Brien scored three in a 4-3 overtime victory at Providence on January 15, 2006.
Roebothan was one of four River Hawks to record multiple points on the night. Jeremy Dehner (Madison, Wis.) had three assists, while Ryan Blair (Ashburn, Va.) had two helpers. Mike Potacco (Kinnelon, N.J.) had a goal and two assists.
Matt Jones (Kentwood, Mich.) was one of two Warriors with multiple points. Jones, who opened the scoring at 3:33 of the first, scored both goals for Merrimack, while Rob Ricci (Brampton, Ont.) had two assists. Chris Barton (Calgary, Alb.) had the second assist on Jones' first tally.
The River Hawks scored five unanswered goals after Jones made it 1-0. Roebothan scored the first two for UML, the first 31 seconds into the second. He netted his second at 3:52 of the second on a deflection in front of the net on a shot from Dehner.
Jonathan Maniff (Revere, Mass.) made it 3-1 at 6:27 of the second with assists from Blair and Chris Auger (Belleville, Ont.). And Roebothan completed the hat trick at 19:05 of the second to make it a 4-1 game after 40 minutes.
Potacco scored his third of the year just 13 seconds into the third to make it a 5-1 River Hawks lead. Nick Schaus (Buffalo, N.Y.) and Dehner had the assists.
After Jones made it 5-2 with his second of the night 52 seconds into the third, Kory Falite (Billerica, Mass.) capped the scoring with a power play goal, his fourth tally of the year at 7:46 with assists from Barry Goers (Ivyland, Pa.) and Dehner.
Nevin Hamilton (Ashland, Mass.) had 20 saves for his second win of the season. Patrick Watson (Waltham, Mass.) stopped 18 shots through two periods to take the loss for Merrimack. Andrew Braithwaite (Kingston, Ont.) came off the bench and made eight saves in the third period for the Warriors.
The River Hawks out-shot the Warriors 32 to 22 for the game. UML was 1-for-3 on the power play. Merrimack was 0-for-2 on the man-advantage.
The six goals are the most for UML since scoring seven against Niagara on October 21, 2006 in the Omaha Stampede (7-4 victory).
"It is good to get four points in this league," said UML head coach Blaise MacDonald. "We started out extremely sluggish, without a lot of enthusiasm and energy. That's very concerning, but Nevin Hamilton did his job to keep us in the game. Then all of a sudden in the second and third periods pucks started jumping into the net for us. I think we were the benefactors of a couple of greasy goals. Mike Potacco really got us going. He played outstanding. He really initiated the spark that we needed."
The River Hawks return to the ice Friday night at New Hampshire for the first of a home-and-home series with the Wildcats. The two teams also meet Saturday night at the Tsongas Arena. Merrimack is next in action on Saturday at Brown.