ITEM FILE PHOTO
Joey Mack scored Lynnfield’s first goal Saturday against Newburyport.
By GORDON VINCENT
NEWBURYPORT — There are good ties, and there are bad ties.
The Lynnfield High boys hockey team’s 2-2 draw with Newburyport Saturday falls into the latter category.
The Pioneers (4-2-1) squandered a two-goal lead entering the third period, as the Clippers (1-4-1) got goals from Paul Federico on a 4-minute power play and Matthew Marino-Babcock with 6:14 left in Saturday’s Cape Ann League game, at Graf Skating Arena.
“It’s definitely frustrating to come out of here with only one point,” Lynnfield coach Jon Gardner said.
Lynnfield got its goals from Joey Mack and Kyle Nekoroski 44 seconds apart in the first period. Behind solid goaltending from Dave Langone, the Pioneers almost made the early lead stand up, until Matt Collins was called for a major penalty for hitting from behind with 12:01 left in the game.
On the ensuing power play, Federico knocked down a pass from Marino-Babcock in the right faceoff circle, and Federico snapped a low shot past Langone.
The Pioneers killed off the rest of the power play, but couldn’t settle the game back down before the Clippers managed the tying goal. Ethan Coir slid a pass to Marino-Babcock, who was uncovered in the slot, and his wrist shot cleanly beat Langone.
“Sometimes that happens after you kill off a penalty,” Gardner said. “We got caught kind of running around, trying to make things happen by ourselves instead of staying with our assignments. Kids try to do too much all at once, and you end up giving up a goal.”
Mack gave Lynnfield a lead 3:30 into the game when his snap shot from the left point through a screen in front of the net beat Newburyport goalie Ken Hodge over his glove. Nekoroski doubled the lead at 4:14. He skated past a defender at the Newburyport blue line on a rush down the right wing, and then fired a low wrist shot from inside the faceoff circle that beat Hodge to the short side.
Newburyport’s best chance to score in the first period came on a shot from the right circle by Jacob Grossi-Hogg that Langone kicked aside with his right pad.
The second period was scoreless, but was not without chances. Ten seconds into the period, Lynnfield’s Cooper Marengi hit the post with a shot from the right circle. About five minutes later, Newburyport’s Harrison Good tested Langone with a shot from the right point that the Lynnfield goalie saved with his right skate.
In the latter stages of the second period, Good fed Federico for a one-timer from the slot that went just outside the right post.
Lynnfield’s best chance to score in the third period came on a power play with about five minutes left in the game. Will Rinaldi fired an open shot from the left faceoff dot, but Hodge made the save with his chest.
Newburyport had a bid with about three minutes left when Grossi-Hogg connected with Patrick O’Leary, whose shot was gloved by Langone.