Freshman Matt Jones scores two goals for Warriors

NORTH ANDOVER, MA – Freshman Matt Jones (Kentwood, MI) scored his first two career goals and classmate Pat Kimball (Framingham, MA) added two assists as the Merrimack College hockey team defeated Massachusetts 2-1 in Hockey East action Friday night at Lawler Rink.

Sophomore Pat Watson (Waltham, MA) made 18 saves for the Warriors, who are 2-1-1 in their last four games and moved to 3-13-2 (3-8-0 Hockey East) with the win. Matt Matheson scored for the Minutemen, who dropped their second game to the Warriors this season and saw their record fall to 8-7-3 (5-5-1 Hockey East).

With the game tied at one entering the third period, Jones skated down the left wing boards and snapped a shot to the short side past UMass goaltender Jon Quick for his second goal of the night. Watson began the play with a pass up to Kimball, who found Jones streaking down the ice. The assist was Watson’s second of the season.

UMass took a 1-0 lead at 18:00 of the opening period when Matheson jammed home a pass from Will Ortiz off a scrum in front of Watson. Jordan Virtue started the play and was credited with the secondary assist.

Just 1:03 later, Jones tied the score at one with a nifty deflection off a shot from the point by freshman Pat Bowen (Framingham, MA).His goal makes him the fifth of Merrimack’s nine freshman skaters to tickle the twine. Kimball started the play with a pass from the boards to Bowen and notched his third assist on the season.

The Warriors outshot the Minutemen 30-19 after being outshot 37-19 in last month’s 3-0 win. After being outshot 8-6 in the opening period, the Warriors outshot UMass 24-11 in the final 40 minutes.

Quick finished the night with 28 saves as his record fell to 7-6-3 while Watson improved to 2-3-1. He is 2-0-1 in his last three contests and has seen his goals against average drop from 4.44 to 2.66 during that three-game stretch.

Merrimack and UMass face-off for the final time this season Saturday night at the Mullins Center in Amherst. Game time is set for 7 p.m.