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AMHERST, Mass. - Senior Danny Hobbs' first career hat trick and a late game-winner from sophomore Conor Allen helped the UMass hockey team extend its home unbeaten streak to 10 with a 4-3 win over Vermont at the Mullins Center on Friday night. With the victory, the Minutemen are now 9-8-5 overall and 5-6-4 in Hockey East play, while the Catamounts fall to 5-17-1 (2-13-1 HEA).
Hobbs logged UMass' third hat trick of the season, following Allen and sophomore Michael Pereira who both had three-goal games earlier this season against Holy Cross and Bentley, respectively. Pereira joined Hobbs with a multi-point night against UVM, registering a pair of assists to earn the game's third star.
The Minutemen opened the scoring with a goal from Hobbs at the 8:39 mark of the first period. Redshirt freshman Steven Guzzo sent the puck ahead to Pereira who fed Hobbs in the slot from the left wing down low. Hobbs buried his shot into an open net, extending his point scoring streak to six straight games.
Vermont was quick to level the score in the opening minutes of the second period. Brett Leonard recorded his first goal of the season from Anthony Decenzo at 1:54.
The Catamounts then took a 2-1 lead with a tally from the point on the power play at 13:01. Colin Markison's pass out of the corner went D-to-D as Anders Franzon set up Michael Paliotta.
Then in the third, UMass erupted for three goals and out-shot Vermont 19-12 in the frame. Hobbs evened things up at two apiece early in the period, scoring his second of the night for his third career-multi goal game, assisted by seniors T.J. Syner and Michael Marcou 59 seconds in.
To complete his hat trick, Hobbs put the Minutemen in front, 3-2 with a power play goal at 10:23, banging home the puck through traffic from sophomore Joel Hanley and Pereira.
Vermont tied the score at 3-3 just under two minutes later. After the Catamounts won the puck in the neutral zone, Mike Montangna and Drew MacKenzie set up Matt White's wrister at 12:21.
With the clock winding down, Allen scored the would-be game-winner for UMass as he went streaking towards the net and collected a rebound off a shot by sophomore Adam Phillips, who received the puck sophomore Conor Sheary in the corner. Assisting on the tally that came at 16:16, Sheary kept his point scoring streak alive, now at six straight games.
The Mass Attack finished the night with a 41-38 shot advantage. Freshman Steve Mastalerz made 35 saves for the Minutemen and collected his second straight win to improve to 3-1-0 on the year. Rob Madore (4-14-1) stopped 37 in net for UVM.
UMass will return to action next Friday, Jan. 27, opening a big home-and-home weekend with #14 UMass Lowell at 7 p.m. in the Mullins Center.