Jets junior Brian Clougherty was named the team's MVP. (Item File Photo)
Sports

Jets celebrate their season at team banquet

LYNNFIELD -- Perhaps there weren't many who saw the Lynn Jets accomplishing as much as they did during the 2017-2018 hockey season.

With a new head coach in Mike Roberts and a handful of vacancies to fill throughout the roster, the Jets entered the season with question marks. As the year progressed, Lynn turned those question marks into wins and earned the No. 5 seed in the Division 3 North state tournament.

The tournament push began with a 5-4 win over No. 12 Latin Academy, the team that ended Lynn's season in 2016-2017. It continued with a 3-2 overtime victory over No.4 Shawsheen in the quarterfinal, punching Lynn's ticket to the sectional semifinal against No. 8 Swampscott.

In a thriller of a game that neither community is likely to forget anytime soon, Swampscott got the best of Lynn for a 3-2 Big Blue victory. The Jets ended their season with a 13-6-4 record.

"Coming in we didn't know what we were going to get," Roberts said. "Are we going to win a handful of games? Are we going to be able to keep the locker room? It's kind of uncharted territory. It was a successful year. Looking back on the season, the resiliency that this group showed and the drive to win, they gave 110 percent and battled every game."

Tuesday night at Spinelli's in Lynnfield, the Jets gathered to celebrate this past season's accomplishments at the team's annual team banquet.

A handful of players stepped up for the Jets and put together terrific seasons. It starts with the team's first line, which emerged as one of the more feared offensive units in the Northeastern Conference.

Lynn's first line featured brothers Mike and Brian Clougherty, with junior John DiFilippo. Brian, a junior, led the team in both goals and points. He scored his 100th career point in the semifinal loss to Swampscott. Each of the three, along with Sean Devin, were named NEC all-stars.

"They put up 149 points in the regular season as a group," Roberts said of his first line. "Whenever we needed to get a spark there, they were the ones that came through in the end."

In net, junior Jack Gallant replaced the 2016 NEC Player of the Year, Jack Stafford, and put together a stellar season for his first go-round as a goaltender. Gallant's strong play in the state tournament was one of the key to Lynn's postseason run.

"Jack picked up the position and ran with it," Roberts said. "He ran with it and gave us a shot to be in every game. That was a big part of our success this year."

Award winners for the Jets at Tuesday's banquet were John DiFilippo, Jet Engine Hustle Award; Travis Ryan, Most Improved Offense Award; Justin Mayne, Most Improved Defense Award; Travis Ryan, Student Athlete Award; Quinn Brinkler, Defensive Player of the Year; Mike Clougherty, Offensive Player of the Year; Sean Devin, Coaches Award; Jack Gallant, Unsung Hero Award; Brian Clougherty, Team MVP.

Captains for next season’s team are Brian Clougherty, John DiFilippo and Owen Downey.

"I've had them for a long time," Roberts said. "We wanted to have a captain on the defensive side. Owen's been a starter for three, maybe four years. Brian and Johnny, with the numbers they put up this past season, one of those two guys will be on the ice for the majority of the time next year. Putting the leadership on them early and giving them the opportunity to run with it, in my mind, is good for the program."

Roberts also thanked parents, booster club members and others for their support of the Lynn program throughout the season.

"I have to give a huge thanks to all the parents, the boosters and my assistant coaches," Roberts said. "It's really a team effort. I have to give a big thanks to John Hoffman at Lynn Public Access and The Item for continued coverage. We appreciated all the support throughout the year."

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