LOWELL, Mass. — Anders Strome hasn’t had a night like this in a couple of years.
“I think in juniors a couple of years ago,” said Strome when questioned about his last hat trick. A scoring error almost cost him his dream night, as Strome wasn’t originally credited with the second goal of the game.
“Baptise [Amar] knew that it was my goal and told the referee that,” said Strome after Amar was initially credited. The scoring was changed between periods and Strome had his first career collegiate hat trick.
Strome’s hat trick was the highlight of UMass-Lowell’s 4-0 victory over Army at the Tsongas Arena on Saturday night. No. 7 Lowell improves to 8-2-0 (5-2-0 HEA) while Army slips to 3-9-1 (1-6-1 MAAC). The game wasn’t as close as the scoreboard said.
Lowell held the territorial advantage for the entire game, outshooting the Black Knights, 55-7.
“[Army goalie Scott] Hamilton made a lot of saves tonight,” said Army coach Rob Riley after his team faced the most shots of the season.
Lowell coach Blaise MacDonald knew that the goaltending for Army was going to be tough.
“Military institutions always have fantastic goalies. You need to create traffic in front of the net for good scoring opportunities,” he said.
After skating through a scoreless first period, Lowell cranked up the offensive onslaught in the second period. Strome would get his first of the night after circling out of the left corner. His wrist shot beat Hamilton to give Lowell the lead less than three minutes into the period.
Strome’s night would get better later in the period. Camped out in front of the net, he would backhand home a rebound of a Baptiste Amar shot for his second goal of the night.
The Strome-Amar combination would strike gold again. Hamilton stopped Amar’s shot from the point but Strome was in the right place. He gobbled up the rebound and scored his third goal of the night.
“He played fantastic tonight,” said MacDonald of Strome. “He makes the plays he has to. His line mates also do the same. They have been our best line this year.”
It was the first three-goal game for a Lowell player since Tom Rouleau turned the trick last year in Union.
Geoff Schomogyi tipped in a Daryl Green shot for the final goal of the game midway through the third period. It was Schomogyi’s second goal of the season.
Cam McCormack was between the pipes for the first two periods, making only four saves. McCormack was in line for his fourth shutout of the season before he was replaced at the start of the third. Jimi St. John made three saves in relief to preserve the victory.
“Lowell is the best team we have played in years,” said Riley. “Lowell shut us down after we had a tough physical game last night in Connecticut.”
Kevin Kotyluk and Amar each chipped in with two assists for the Riverhawks.
Lowell travels to Union on Wednesday night for a non-conference game. Army takes on Bentley next weekend in a home and home series