LOWELL, Mass. (Jan. 22, 2009) - Jeremy Dehner (Madison, Wis.) scored two goals and Michael Budd (Burlington, Ont.) scored the game-winning goal as UMass Lowell defeated Merrimack, 3-2, Thursday night in Hockey East action at the Tsongas Arena.
The River Hawks have won two of their last and improve to 10-12-0 overall and 7-8-0 against the league. The Warriors have lost four straight and fall to 5-13-3 overall and 2-11-2 in league play.
Dehner led all scorers in the game with two goals, his first career two-goal game. His first goal came on the power play in the second period. His second goal tied the game, 2-2, early in the third.
Budd scored the winning goal midway through the third period, on the River Hawks sixth power play of the night.
Jesse Todd (Calgary, Alta.) opened the scoring midway through the first period (10:52) to give Merrimack its first of two leads on the night.
The lead held until the 7:52 mark of the second period when Dehner netted the first of his two goals on the night. Maury Edwards (Rocky Rapids, Alta.) extended his point streak to four games with the primary assist on the goal. Nick Schaus (Buffalo, N.Y.) had the second assist.
At the 3:50 mark of the third period Jeff Velleca (Waterbury, Conn.) scored his second of the year to put Merrimack up 2-1. Karl Stollery (Camrose, Alta.) and Pat Bowen (Marshfield, Mass.) picked up the assists.
Just a minute and 18 seconds later Dehner tied the game for the second time with his second of the night and second of the year. Dehner attempted to rim the puck along the left boards, but it hit a crease in the glass and went into an empty net. Scott Campbell (Navan, Ont.), who won the face off, picked up the assist.
Budd followed with the game-winner at 11:40 of the third period re-directing a pass from Schaus. David Vallorani (Hamilton, Ont.) had the second assist on the goal.
Carter Hutton (Thunder Bay, Ont.) made 27 saves to pick up his second win in a row. He improved to 4-6-0 with the win. He stopped 21 shots in the first two periods.
Joe Cannata (Wakefield, Mass.) made 32 saves for Merrimack, but took the loss. He falls to 3-5-3.
The River Hawks were 2-for-6 on the power play. They have scored a man-advantage goal in six straight games. The Warriors were 0-for-4 on the power play.
UMass Lowell out-shot Merrimack, 35-29 for the game and 18-7 in the third period.
"I was really impressed with how Merrimack played," said UMass Lowell head coach Blaise MacDonald. "They totally dominated in the first period. They played very hard and thorough.
"We struggled most of the night based on how hard Merrimack was playing. We were fortunate to get a lucky bounce for our second goal. We made did a nice job on our power play for the third goal. We have a lot of respect for Merrimack. They're a tough team. We need to get organized for Saturday."
The River Hawks and Warriors conclude this week's home-and-home series and the season series Saturday night at the Volpe Center. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.