Jersey’s Mickey Burns was unstoppable Saturday.

The University of Vermont commit’s hat trick lead the Hitmen to a 5-3 victory over the Twin City Thunder in an USPHL National Collegiate Development Conference contest in Wayne, New Jersey.

“It’s tough to match lines on the road, and we did that to the best to our abilities,” Thunder coach Doug Friedman said. “We did a much better job of (matching lines) last night.

“They made a conscious effort to keep (Burns’) line away from a matchup with (Jeromey) Rancourt’s line. They kept (that line) away best they could. In general, we were trying to be aware when he was on the ice because he’s such a dangerous player around the net. We just tried to take away his time and space.”

Casey Rhodes and Tyler Sedlak each had two assists for Jersey.

Andrew Kurapov scored a pair of goals to lead the Thunder (22-16-1, 43 points).

The teams traded goals early in the first period. Burns gave the Hitmen a 1-0 lead, and Maine’s Nick Rashkovsky tied the game less than a minute later, at the 4:27 mark.

Burns put the Hitmen (33-4-3, 69 points) on top 2-1 near the seven-and-half minute mark of the opening period.

That score remained into the second period before Jersey scored three goals in a 48-second span. Michael Kane found the back of the net at the 5:09 mark, Burns completed his hat trick 30 seconds later with an unassisted goal and Whim Stalberg finished the three-goal barrage.

“We played well, we just didn’t play a complete game,” Friedman said. “We had a couple minutes in the second period that killed us in the outcome where they got three goals in a (48-second span). We preach complete games, and we didn’t do it tonight.”

Friedman said the team made some mental mistakes that good teams will usually capitalize on.

Kurapov scored the Thunder’s second goal midway through the middle period.

Kurapov the tallied the only goal of the third midway through the period.

“He was competing hard,” Friedman said of Kurapov. “He was making smart plays out there. …He’s just a real complete player.”

Goalie Gavin Abric made 11 saves for the Hitmen in the victory, while Alexander Kozic made 22 saves for the Thunder.

Both teams were scoreless on the power play.

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