Swampscott and Lynn hockey teams were fit to be even

Swampscott goalie Victor Kratik made 36 saves. (Spenser R. Hasak)

SALEM — The Lynn Jets hockey team and Swampscott battled to a 4-4 tie Wednesday night at Salem State’s Richard Rockett Arena.

The Jets fired 40 shots on net, but Victor Kratik made 36 saves to help the Big Blue earn a much-needed point.

“We really needed a win tonight but we’ll take a point,” Swampscott coach Gino Faia said. “It still keeps us alive for the tournament. We just have to focus on coming out ready for the next one and hopefully coming out with a win.

“Victor was unbelievable,” Faia added. “They had 40 shots. He was big. He probably would’ve liked the first goal back, but he came up big after with save after save. He gave us a chance to at least get a point tonight.”

The tie puts Lynn two wins away from clinching a spot in the tournament but Jets coach Mike Roberts said his team will have to elevate its play to make that happen.

“It was disappointing,” Roberts said. “I don’t think we played very well overall. It was a slow paced game and that’s not our fast and physical game that we like to play. Credit goes to Swampscott for slowing us down a little bit.

“As far as our game here I don’t know what’s going on. We need to figure it out,” Roberts added. “We’re trying to make a state tournament run and we’re not firing on all cylinders. We’re a little lackluster getting pucks to the net from scoring areas.”

Swampscott got off to a fast start with a goal just 39 seconds into the game. Zach Elwell found Connor Donovan in transition and just after entering the zone, Donovan ripped a shot that beat Jack Gallant to put Swampscott ahead 1-0.

It didn’t take long for the Jets’ first line to add a goal of its own. Breaking into the Swampscott zone, John DiFilippo dished a nice pass to Andrew Patrie who ripped a low shot that found the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1.

The Jets kept the pressure on and Gallant blocked the next eight shots he faced before Lynn took the lead. This time Matt Devin finished on a loose puck out front to put the Jets ahead 2-1 late in the first period.

The Big Blue regained momentum early in the second period thanks to a turnover in the Jets zone. Drew Olivieri stepped in front of a breakout pass and scored on a backhand shot to tie the game at 2-2.

Just over a minute later Olivieri scored again, this time on a power play chance with a quick shot after a face off to put the Big Blue ahead 3-2.

Kratik had a perfect second period for Swampscott, saving all 13 shots he faced.

Both teams went back and forth in the third. Lynn got on the board when Paul Papageorgiou dished a nice pass to Devin in front of the net and the sophomore added his second goal to tie the game at 3-3.

With just under seven minutes to play another turnover in the Jets zone helped give Swampscott a goal. A bad bounce off the boards on a breakout pass gave the puck right back to the Big Blue and Thomas Callahan lit the lamp to put Swampscott up 4-3.

“It kicked off the side wall and right out into the middle of the ice,” Roberts said. “That’s a puck that 99 times out of 100 get out of the zone. It always seemed like it was some weird bounce or something that was giving an advantage.”

The Jets scored the last goal of the game with four minutes remaining when DiFilippo cleaned up a rebound out front to tie the game at 4-4.

Swampscott had a power play chance with 2:16 remaining, but the Jets denied the Big Blue a chance at a game-winner.

“They just did a nice job icing the puck and dumping the puck as we were getting tired there,” Faia said of the power play. “We just couldn’t get in there zone or get anything set up. We never really got anything going.”

Both teams are back on the ice Saturday. The Big Blue (4-6-3) hope to keep their state tournament chances alive when they host Somerville (4:30) while Lynn (7-3-2) hosts Everett (4).

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