Another game for the Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey team, another night where the first line of Connor Jones, Kellen Jones and Sam Anas steals the show.
Behind the trio’s three goals and six points, the Bobcats trounced Massachusetts in a 6-1 drubbing in front of 3,477 at High Point Solutions Arena at TD Bank Sports Center, Quinnipiac’s record improving to 13-2-2 overall.
Brayden Sherbinin, Travis St. Denis and Bryce Van Brabant also collected scores, while defenseman Zach Tolkinen gathered three assists.
Anas and the Joneses have combined for 26 of the team’s 60 goals this season, Anas leading the pack with 12. As of Nov. 30, Anas is one of only three players in Division I that has recorded double-digit goals and assists, the others being Hockey East and ECAC Hockey standouts Johnny Gaudreau and Greg Carey.
“They’ve been in a groove since I put Sam on that line a while ago,” Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold said. “They’ve been great all the way through, it just continues.”
In the team’s past four games, Connor and Kellen Jones have combined for five goals, while Anas has notched four.
“We try and get going at the highest pace possible,” Connor said. “Sam’s doing a great job of finishing, he’s got a knack for putting the puck in net. We’ve been having fun, like to keep a high pace.”
Kellen made an impact early, tying the game at 1 in the first after a UMass goal. Tolkinen connected with Kellen on the near side, who skated up the offensive zone with speed, roofing a shot over goaltender Steve Mastalerz’s right shoulder.
Quinnipiac’s offensive attack continued through the end of the first and into the second, with Van Brabant and St. Denis adding their fourth and sixth tallies of the season.
Midway through the second stanza, UMass was forced to replace Mastalerz with backup Mac Haight, after he was given a rare penalty and game misconduct for spearing.
Anas then found the back of the net on the five-minute power play. Matthew Peca hit Anas with a pass in the slot from behind the goal line, Anas later nailing the upper-right corner of the net for the 4-1 lead.
“Offensively, we were very confident tonight,” Pecknold said. “We were making plays, and confident in that ability. That’s a big part of being successful. That’s really something we’ve been good with this year.”
The Jones twins recorded their final goal of the night early in the third, going tic tac across the slot, Connor eventually daggering his sixth of the year.
“I was lucky to get a nice fan goal in the net,” Connor said. “It’s just one of those plays where I think we saw it coming.”
The teams combined for 24 penalties worth 70 minutes. The game got chippy in the third, as Quinnipiac’s Brooks Robinson was given a five-minute major and game misconduct with less than a minute to play for hitting from behind. Thirteen of the 24 penalties were called in the third period.
Quinnipiac goaltender Michael Garteig made nine saves on 10 shots. Jacob Meyers saw his first action of the season, replacing Garteig with 3:39 left in regulation.