Hockey: Rogers boys trip Cathedral 4-3 with hat trick by Neal Smith

A hat trick by Neal Smith helped the Rogers Royals topple No. 9 ranked St. Cloud Cathedral 4-3 at home on Tuesday evening.

The No. 16 Royals (17-6-1) snapped an eight-game win streak by the Crusaders (18-5), going 2-for-3 on power plays and holding Cathedral to 0-for-4. Cathedral had a 35-30 shot edge.

Zach Hnath gave Rogers a 1-0 lead in the first period but  Sam Wood and Danny Johnston put Cathedral up 2-1 before the period ended.

Smith scored at  4:15 and 7:54 of the second period, the latter on a power play.

Smith struck again on a power play 1:19 into the third for a 4-2 margin. Ryan Kissner closed the gap for Cathedral at 7:21.

In goal were Robby Vukelich (32-for-35) for Rogers and Connor Amundson (26-for-30) for Cathedral.

Rogers had seven penalties, including two five-minute majors, and Cathedral had seven, including one five-minute major.

Andrew Smith made three assists, Hnath two, and Bryan Jungles, Travis Brown and Nate Weber one each, for Rogers.

Neal Smith has 20 goals and 23 assists, and Hnath 21 goals and 23 assists, to lead the Royals. Andrew Smith is 15-26-41 and Jungles 15-21-36.

The Royals will close Mississippi 8 play on Friday at St. Michael-Abertville, hoping to finish unbeaten in conference.

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