|1st||18:32||MNE||1-0||EV||Brendan Robbins (8)||Emil Westerlund/6|
|2nd||1:08||MER||1-1||EV||Marc Biega (5)||Alex Carle/3, Brett Seney/16|
|2nd||3:04||MNE||2-1||PS||Brendan Robbins (9)||-|
|2nd||4:09||MER||2-2||PP||Brett Seney (10)||Jared Kolquist/15, Sami Tavernier/10|
|2nd||16:52||MNE||3-2||SH||Brendan Robbins (10)||Chase Pearson/19|
|3rd||18:31||MER||3-3||EV EA||Ludvig Larsson (9)||Marc Biega/4, Jared Kolquist/16|
|OT||0:20||MNE||4-3||EV GW||Patrick Shea (4)||Patrick Holway/11, Nolan Vesey/8|
|Shots on Goal||1st||2nd||3rd||OT||SOG|
|Team Stats and Records||PP||PIM||SHGF|
|Craig Pantano (L, 7-10-2)||59:52||4||11||8||5||0||24|
|Jeremy Swayman (W, 12-5-3)||59:55||3||9||16||11||0||36|
ORONO, Me. - Brendan Robbins tallied his first career hat trick but it was Patrick Shea's tip-in 20-seconds into overtime that lifted the University of Maine men's hockey team to a 4-3 victory over Merrimack on Friday evening at Alfond Arena.
Maine improves to 15-9-5, 9-6-3 in Hockey East action while the loss dips the Warriors to 7-16-4, 4-12-2. Robbins' hat trick came by way of an even-strength tally, a short-handed goal and his second career penalty shot conversion. Jeremy Swayman was strong in net, moving his record to 12-5-3 after turning away 36 shots.
Late in the first period, Merrimack struggled to dig the puck away from the boards along the blue line in the Maine zone. Emil Westerlund took advantage of the struggle, forcing a turnover and streaking down the left boards. Westerlund rifled a pass right on the stick of Robbins who tapped the puck home at the right post with 1:28 on the clock.
Merrimack, though, tied the score 1:08 into the second when Marc Biega sifted a shot top shelf through traffic.
But with the Black Bears skating short-handed just under two minutes later, Robbins intercepted the puck and skated in all alone on Craig Pantano. Merrimack's defender was whistled for a hook, giving Robbins a penalty shot opportunity. Robbins skated in and put a move on the Merrimack goaltender before lifting his second goal of the night over Pantano's blocker.
The Warriors were quick to answer. Skating on the power play, Jared Kolquist dumped a pass over to Brett Seney in the right face-off circle. Seney carried into the slot before writing a shot into the back of the net.
Robbins completed the hat trick, regaining the lead for the Black Bears with 3:08 remaining in the second period. With Merrimack working with the man advantage, Chase Pearson was able to beat the Warriors to the puck, clearing the zone out to Robbins at center ice. Robbins carried in along the right wing before sneaking a wrister short-side by Pantano.
The goal marked Maine's first hat trick since Nolan Vesey accomplished the feat on Feb. 25, 2017 at Alfond Arena against Northeastern.
Maine clung to its 3-2 lead as the Warriors pulled Pantano with 1:50 to play in regulation. Merrimack's Marc Biega's slapper was redirected in front and right to the stick of Ludvig Larsson. Larsson was in perfect position on the left post and was able to tie the game with 1:29 to play.
The game would move to overtime and the Black Bears were quick to cash in. Just 20-seconds into the extra frame, Vesey carried the puck behind the Merrimack net before sliding a pass to the blue line. Patrick Holway settled the rubber before rifling a shot at the net that Shea was able to get a stick on, tipping it past Pantano for the game-winner.
Merrimack held the final edge in shots on goal (39-28) while Pantano finished with 24 saves.
Maine and Merrimack close out the weekend series at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Alfond Arena.