Costly penalties result in a loss for Lynn Jets

Matt Devin scored a goal in Lynn's loss to Gloucester. (Item Photo by Owen O'Rourke)

LYNN — Despite playing two periods of good hockey, the Lynn Jets let one bad period do them in Wednesday night, falling to Gloucester 9-3 in a Northeastern Conference battle at William P. Connery Rink. The Jets spent 10 of 15 minutes of the second period in the penalty box, then allowed four goals in the final five minutes of the third period.

“The game was certainly closer than the scoreboard indicates, but it still wasn’t great out there,” said Lynn coach Mike Roberts. “We went in with a plan to be physical and limit our mistakes, but we just made way too many mistakes to win tonight.”

For the Jets, senior John DiFilippo had one goal and one assist. Senior Andrew Patrie and sophomore Mat Devin each scored one goal, while senior Owen Downey had one assist.

While the scoreboard may not reflect it, Lynn goalie Jack Gallant had a huge game with 26 saves.

“He really stood on his head out there tonight, without him we probably would’ve lost by 20 goals tonight,” Roberts said of Gallant. “He was outstanding tonight and I can’t say enough about him.”

For Gloucester, EJ Field and Derek Hopkins each had two goals. Ryan Frates and Dan O’Leary each scored their first career varsity goals, while Jack Costanzo, Ryan Muniz and Ryan Bergin also had tallies in the win. Goalie Connor Vittands had 27 saves.

The first period started off with an even matchup, as both teams got a number of shots on net. The Jets were the aggressor in the first several minutes, putting pressure on Vittands early and even drawing a power play. But the Gloucester defense held strong, and the Fishermen started to mount some pressure of their own in the final five minutes of the period. Then, with just over two minutes left, Frates took advantage of a bad clearing attempt by Lynn and fired in a goal from the blue line to put Gloucester up 1-0.

The second period was an up-and-down one for the Jets. It started off as badly as it could’ve, with the Jets getting called for a five-minute major penalty within the first minute of play. That was followed by a powerplay goal by Muniz to put Gloucester up 2-0, then exactly one minute later Costanzo scored on a Muniz assist to go up 3-0.

Finally, after killing off over nine minutes of penalties, the Jets went on a run to end the period. It started when they still had a man in the box, but the teams were playing four-on-four. Patrie snuck behind the defense and took a long pass from Downey all the way to the net, deking right and firing in a goal to make it 3-1. Devin scored on an assist from DiFilippo with two minutes left to make it 3-2. While Gloucester went into the intermission with the lead, it was Lynn who had the momentum.

But things fell apart for the Jets in the third. It started when Gloucester notched another early goal, this one coming from Field just over two minutes into the action. Lynn responded with a DiFilippo power play goal to make it 4-3, but that was as close as the Jets would come. Field responded a minute later with his second goal to make it 5-3, then Hopkins (two goals), O’Leary and Bergin all found the back of the net over the final five minutes to seal the victory.

The road ahead doesn’t get any easier for Lynn (0-1-1), as next up is another NEC matchup against Swampscott next Wednesday.

“The schedule is tough this year like always, and we have to shake this one off and come back ready to go,” said Roberts.

The Jets also took part in a Christmas toy drive Wednesday night. The Lynn and Somerville hockey teams joined forces over the past week, and this weekend the team captains from both sides will be donating the toys to a charity in Somerville and to Item Santa in Lynn.

“There’s a lot of unfortunate kids at this time of year and we’re blessed to have what we have, so it’s only right to give back,” Roberts said. “We’re just glad to be able to use our platform to do some good in the community.”

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