LYNN— A quick start can go a long way in hockey. Lynn Jets coach Mike Roberts has preached the importance of starting games on a positive note to his players this season, and the message came to fruition Wednesday evening.
The Jets scored twice in the first four minutes of play and used that strong start to defeat St. Joseph’s, 7-1, at Connery Rink. With the win, Lynn improved to 8-4-2.
“Our motto for the season has been fast and physical,” Roberts said. “When we come out and we play fast offensively and physical defensively, we run on all cylinders. We saw that in the first five minutes and all through the second period. We dominated those stretches and that’s because we played fast and physical.”
Lynn featured seven different goal scorers in the win as Travis Ryan, Mike Clougherty, John DiFilippo, Brian Clougherty, Matthew Devin, Sean Devin and Aidan Seitz each found the back of the net.
“We’re running three full lines offensively, we’re four deep,” Roberts said. “A lot of teams only have two lines. We have some young depth too. Our third line includes a junior, a sophomore and a freshman. We’re pretty spread out through the lines and that really helps us.”
Goalies Jack Gallant (13 saves on 14 shots) and Kenny Perez (three saves) combined for the win.
Lynn dominated the battle of possession as the soon as the puck dropped in the first period. The Phoenix struggled to get anything rolling on offense, allowing Lynn to put early pressure on St. Joseph’s. After firing shots left and right in the opening minute, Ryan picked up a loose puck and shot it into the back of the net. Mike Clougherty followed suit two minutes later, with 11:10 on the clock, bumping Lynn’s lead to 2-0. To St. Joseph’s credit, the Phoenix managed to stop the bleeding from there and ended the first period down 2-0.
The Phoenix had a golden opportunity to climb back in midway through the second period. Lynn was penalized twice in a three-minute stretch. That gave St. Joseph’s four minutes of 5-on-4 action, including 15 seconds of 5-on-3. Lynn killed both penalties and made it a 3-0 lead when it got back to full strength on DiFilippo’s goal with 6:54 remaining.
“We showed some good resolve there,” Roberts said. “I thought one of the calls could’ve gone either way. We did a really good job of staying defensive on the penalty kill and we have fast forwards. Sometimes they try to open it up on the penalty kill. After we killed those two penalties, we scored and that changed the momentum a little bit.”
After the Phoenix found the scoreboard, Brian Clougherty capped the second period with a goal to give Lynn a 4-1 lead after two.
Matt Devin, Sean Devin and Seitz each scored a goal in the third period to up Lynn’s advantage to 7-1 and put the game well out of St. Joseph’s reach.
“We stressed that we have to play a full 45 minutes,” Roberts said. “At some points in the season, we haven’t done that. We’ve played 30 minutes here, 30 minutes there. It’s been a bit inconsistent between the three periods. We’ve talked about looking like a tournament team and now we have to play like a tournament team. That means playing a full 45 minutes.”
The Jets visit Revere/Malden Saturday evening (5:10) in their final NEC clash of the season. With a win, the Jets will clinch a spot in the state tournament.