LYNN — The Lynn Jets survived a shootout at home, skating their way to a 9-7 win over Swampscott in the opening round of their Christmas Tournament Wednesday at William P. Connery Rink.
The Jets scored six goals in the third period to pull away from Swampscott, the team that ended Lynn’s season in the Division 3 North state tournament in March.
“This was a game we have had circled since last year,” Jets coach Mike Roberts said. “Obviously when these two teams meet it’s going to be a dog fight. Last year it was more defensive with a little less scoring and more physical. The team landscapes have changed a bit.”
The game came down to the final minutes, tied at 7-7 with 3:40 left in the third period. Swampscott looked as though it had a chance to jump ahead with a man advantage, but John DiFilippo jumped in front of breakout pass and scored to put the Jets up by one. The goal was not only the game winner, but a perfect cap on a solid night for the Jets’ first line of forwards.
“It’s been one of out strengths,” Roberts said. “That first set of penalty kill forwards. DiFilippo and Andrew Patrie have been leading the way on that attack and doing a really good job, it paid off for them tonight.
“Last year set a precedent,” Roberts addes. “They moved the puck and put up over 150 points between that line. That just goes to show that if you use the right system, which is puck movement more than anything else for us, it will turn into goals.”
For Swampscott, Lynn’s game winning-goal was just another example of several costly turnovers that came back to haunt the Big Blue.
“We just had too many forced turnovers and errors in our own zone,” Swampscott coach Gino Faia said. “We just weren’t handling the puck well. We know Lynn and they come at you quick and they play hard. We just weren’t making plays.”
The night started out well for the Big Blue thanks to an early penalty. Swampscott wasted no time on the man advantage with Drew Olivieri (two goals, one assist) ripping a wrist shot from the right face off circle that found the back of the net to give Swampscott a 1-0 lead.
The Jets answered less than a minute later. Andrew Patrie (two goals, one assist) laid a perfect pass in stride to Brian Clougherty (two goals, one assist) who used his speed to create space and slipped a shot to the left of goalkeeper Victor Kratik, tying the game at 1-1.
Swampscott took back the lead early in the second period. Just after skating past center ice Max Gadon put a shot on net that slipped through the legs of goalkeeper Jack Gallant to put the Big Blue ahead 2-1.
Five minutes later the Big Blue took advantage of another power play. After a flurry of shots on net Conor Donovan (one goal, two assists) eventually put home a rebound to extend the Swampscott lead to 3-1.
A few minutes later Clougherty made another huge play for the Jets, weaving through several defenders before beating Kratik to the right side and cutting the Lynn deficit to one.
Olivieri then added his second goal when he slipped by a Jets defender along the boards and ripped a wrist shot to put the Big Blue ahead 4-2.
But Lynn once again bounced back, this time with help from a Swampscott five-minute major penalty. Clougherty dished a nice pass to Patrie in front who then slipped a shot by Kratik’s right pad to cut the Swampscott lead to 4-3 before the end of the second.
Lynn didn’t take its foot off the gas pedal in the third. Clougherty again found Patrie 48 seconds in to the period to tie the game and 30 seconds later Aiden Seitz dished a pass to Paul Papageorgiou (three goals) who fired a shot to give the Jets their first lead at 5-4.
Lynn extended its lead thanks to goals from Troy Petkevitch and Papageorgiou, but Zach Elwell (three goals, one assist) kept Swampscott in the game with three third-period goals to tie the game at 7-7.
That’s when DiFilippo took advantage of the costly turnover and Papageorgiou added an empty net goal to seal the 9-7 Lynn victory.
With the win the Jets move on to play Essex Tech in the tournament championship Thursday (6). Swampscott plays Northeast Tech in the consolation game (4).