Ice Hockey

 
Degon Hat Trick Propels Minutemen To 4-1 Win Over Merrimack

UMass is currently riding a three-game winning streak.

UMass is currently riding a three-game winning streak.

Jan. 7, 2006

Box Score

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts (8-11-0, 5-7-0 Hockey East) extended its winning streak to three with Saturday's 4-1 win over Merrimack (4-13-2, 1-9-2 HEA). Marvin Degon, who had three points in Friday's victory, came up big with three power play goals en route to the win. Massachusetts earned the season series sweep against the Warriors behind a 13-3 scoring advantage.

Neither team generated a goal in the first, and shots were deadlocked at seven apiece. The Minutemen were afforded two power play opportunities and sustained the majority of the pressure in the stanza, putting up 35 shots overall compared to the Warriors' 11, but the teams skated to the second period scoreless.

As it was on Friday, the first goal of the game was scored with the man advantage, again being credited to the home team. With Topher Bevis being called for obstruction-interference at 5:21, the Warriors' leading goal scorer Matt Johnson converted just 12 seconds into the penalty. Mike Alexiou and Brent Gough assisted on the play.

Marvin Degon tied it up at one with a 4x3 power play goal at 12:08. Chris Capraro passed the puck to P.J. Fenton up high, first holding it before passing it to Degon near the top of the circle for the one-timer.

The Minutemen were afforded yet another power play just after the carryover MC penalty expired, and with a Merrimack player covering up the puck in the crease, UMass came up with a penalty shot at 2:08. The last time such a shot was taken by a UMass player was on Feb. 6, 2000 by Jeff Turner vs. UMass Lowell. Stephen Werner took the shot and scored before the goal was called back for the net being off its mooring. Werner again skated in on the penalty shot but was stopped by Jim Healey, keeping the score 1-1.

 

 

But Massachusetts responded with the go-ahead goal at 3:46 with Cory Quirk's fourth goal of the season. Kevin Jarman is credited with starting the play, stealing the puck from the Warrior defense and skating in all alone on Healey. Jarman's shot rebounded out to Quirk on the far side, who slid it home for the 2-1 score.

Degon then came up with his second PP goal of the night at 6:48 with Alexiou in the box for boarding. Mike Kostka and Chris Davis worked the puck down low for some time before finding Degon open up top, shooting cleanly for his team-leading seventh goal of the season. He closed the game with his first career hat trick, with all three goals coming on the power play, at 19:53 for UMass' second 4x3 goal of the evening. His final goal was assisted by Fenton and Matt Anderson, closing out the scoring.

His seven power play tallies leads all Division I defensemen nationally, and is second among all Hockey East skaters. The senior is also riding a five-game scoring streak, extending back to the Dec. 10 match up with Boston College (4g, 6a). In the seven games since Dec. 6, 2005, Degon has five goals and seven assists for 12 points to lead Massachusetts. The last time a Hockey East defenseman tallied a hat trick in a league game was on Jan. 5, 2003 vs. Providence (Thomas Pöck).

Overall, shots were 33-28 in favor of UMass. The Minutemen were 3-for-8 on the power play, while the Warriors were 1-for-2. Netminder Gabe Winer was sharp in net, making 27 saves on the way to his fifth win of the season and 46th of his career.

Massachusetts returns to action next weekend with a single game vs. sister school UMass Lowell. Game time for Friday is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Tsongas Arena.

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