Jones Two Assist Game Helps Minutemen Clinch Home Ice

Zac Jones(Jerrey Roberts/Daily Hampshire Gazette)

Zac Jones had a two-assist game as his ninth-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen held off the UConn Huskies 4-3. The win clinched home-ice for the Minutemen in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs.

Jones had the primary assist on the Minutemen’s second goal, a power-play goal at 10:10 in the second period which at the time put his team up 2-1. In the third period with the Minutemen up 3-2, Jones earned the secondary assist on the team’s fourth goal at 16:41.

It was a key goal because UConn would score just 13 seconds later closing the gap to 4-3 and the Minutemen would hold on for the win. For Jones, the two assists came with just one shot on net for the freshman defender.

And with those two points, Jones improves his season totals to 3-19-22 which is third-best on the team while the 19 assists lead the team. And the news is even better as Jones is the leading freshman defenseman scorer in the Hockey East (fifth overall) and the eighth-best freshman scorer in the league.

One last Jones note and that is he has a three-game scoring streak going (0-4-4) and is 0-8-8 in his last six games. UMass can clinch second place with a win in their regular-season finale next Thursday against Vermont.

Tyler Wall stopped 26 out of 28 shots as his 15th-ranked UMass-Lowell River Hawks held off New Hampshire 3-2 in Hockey East action. The win improved Wall’s record to 17-8-6 with a 2.14 goals against (18th NCAA) and a 0.930 save percentage (10th NCAA).

The win puts the River Hawks in third place of the Hockey East Conference with one game left in the regular season. That game is next Friday against 4th place UConn with home-ice advantage in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs at stake. The River Hawks can finish as high as second or fall as low as fifth.

Matthew Robertson (Andy Devlin/Edmonton Oil Kings)

Matthew Robertson had the primary assist on the game-winning goal as his Edmonton Oil Kings shutout the Red Deer Rebels 4-0. Robertson was 0-1-1 on one shot with a minor for “unsportsmanlike conduct”.

The assist extends his scoring streak to four games (0-5-5) and improves his overall numbers to 13-32-45. The win extends the Oil Kings unbeaten streak to four (3-0-1) as they try to hold on to the WHL’s best record with just seven games remaining.

Robertson has points in 14 out of his last 16 games going back to January 19th (5-15-20).

Simon Kjellberg was scoreless as his Rensselaer Engineers finished their ECAC regular-season with a 4-1 win over Dartmouth. Kjellberg was credited with two shots, a +1 and one blocked shot as the Engineers finished with a four-game winning streak.

The win streak is their longest since 2012-2013 means that the Engineers finished in fourth-place of the ECAC and earn a first-round bye in the ECAC playoffs. The Engineers are off until March 13th when they will host an ECAC quarterfinal series.

K’Andre Miller and his Wisconsin Badgers played to a 3-3 overtime tie on the road with 10th-ranked Ohio State to finish their regular season with a four-game unbeaten streak (3-0-1). Miller was scoreless on four shots and a -1 as the Badgers get to return to Ohio State next week.

Wisconsin finished the Big Ten Conference season in last place and will face second-seeded Ohio State in a best-of-three playoff series. Don’t count Wisconsin out as they finished the season by going 4-1-1 over three different Top Ten ranked teams.

Tyler Nanne (Brad Rempl)

Tyler Nanne was scoreless on three shots and blocked two on defense but his Minnesota Golden Gophers lost to the Michigan Wolverines 2-1. It was the final regular-season game of Tyler Nanne’s career at Minnesota as the senior captain led the team in blocked shots with 62.

The loss means that Minnesota finishes the regular season as the fourth-seed in the Big Ten Conference. They will host fifth-seeded Notre Dame in a best-of-three series starting next weekend.

Riley Hughes had the primary assist on his 12th-ranked Northeastern Huskies’ only goal as they dropped a 3-1 decision to lowly Vermont. Hughes would pick up his third assist of the season on the game’s first goal at 1:38 of the second period.

But the lead didn’t even last a full minute as Vermont would score 58 seconds later to tie the game and then add two more goals to send Northeastern to their fourth-straight loss. The loss puts Northeastern in a huge whole as they are barely hanging on to the last playoff spot in the Hockey East with two games left both against Boston University next weekend.

Hughes improves to 1-3-4 on the season after his 0-1-1, one shot and +1 game. Can’t see Northeastern making the Hockey East playoffs and even if they did, they would wind up facing top seed Boston College who swept them last weekend.

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