Massachusetts Hockey (9-7-3, 6-5-1 Hockey East) kept the Mullins Center magic rolling on Saturday night, improving to 7-1-1 at home with the 4-2 win over Merrimack (3-14-2, 3-9-0 HEA). Jon Quick not only scored the rare tally for a netminder, but nabbed the eventual gamewinner on a Warrior defensive blunder. The Minutemen return to action next Friday, January 13 vs. sister school UMass Lowell. The 7 p.m. game will be played in Amherst.
UMass took a 1-0 lead at 11:32 of the first period when Kevin Jarman netted his fifth goal of the season. Carrying the puck down the left side on a 2-on-1 break, Jarman fired a shot that beat Merrimack goalie Patrick Watson to the blocker side. Just 1:06 later, Chris Davis beat Watson with a low shot inside the left post to give the Minutemen a two-goal lead. Cory Quick stripped a Merrimack defenseman of the puck and ripped a shot that was blocked, but he gathered the rebound and slid a pass to Davis, who was parked at the side of the cage for the easy tap-in. Merrimack Head Coach Mark Dennehy called timeout immediately following the second UMass goal.
The Warriors cut the deficit in half before the end of the opening stanza with a power-play goal at 14:04. Freshman J.C. Robitaille hit Matt Jones with a pass in the corner. Jones gave the puck to Pat Kimball, who walked out of the right corner and wristed a shot over Quick's glove hand for his third goal of the season and third point in two games. The period closed with UMass holding a 9-4 edge in shots.
In the second, the Warriors yanked Watson during a delayed penalty but an errand pass to the point slid into the empty net, giving the Minutemen a 3-1 lead. Jon Quick was the last UMass player to touch the puck and was thus credited with the first goal of his career at 9:31. Alex Berry's first goal of the season on a deflection from a Matt Matheson point shot pushed the lead to 4-1 at 13:23. Mike Kostka was credited with the second assist on the goal. The two teams each had nine shots on net, giving UMass a 18-13 edge through two periods of play.
MC's Jones scored his third goal in two games off a feed from Kimball at 18:05 of the third on the power play to cap the scoring. Robitaille picked up his second assist of the night on the play.
The Minutemen outshot the Warriors 26-23 on the evening as Quick improved to 8- 6-3 with his 21 saves. Merrimack's Watson made 19 saves and saw his record move to 2-4-1. Merrimack was 2-for-6 with the man advantage while UMass failed to convert on six opportunities.
Merrimack Sports Information contributed to this story