LYNN — After a week off, the Lynn Jets returned to action Saturday when they hosted Essex Tech in a non-conference tilt at William P. Connery Rink.
Essex Tech took advantage of a sluggish Lynn start to claim an early lead. But the Jets got their legs back in time to score twice in the third period and salvage a 4-4 tie on Lynn’s senior night.
“We were worried about that coming in, how we were going to start,” Jets coach Mike Roberts said. “We had two pretty good practices coming in. After a weekend off, we came back Monday. We had a two-hour practice scheduled Tuesday but we got snow. We had six out of seven days where we didn’t do anything hockey-wise and you could tell in the first period. They weren’t moving their legs.”
Prior to Saturday’s game, the Jets held two ceremonies, one to honor the veterans in attendance and the other to honor the eight seniors on their roster. Lynn’s senior class includes Brian Clougherty, John DiFilippo, Owen Downey, Jack Gallant, Paul Papageorgiou, Andrew Patrie, Troy Petkevich and Aidan Seitz. Mayor Thomas M. McGee was on-hand for the ceremonial puck drop.
“They’re an excellent, resilient group,” Roberts said. “They’ve kept hockey for Lynn Public Schools on the map for the past two years. They rejuvenated the community for public high schools are far as hockey goes. We didn’t let our product die. Unfortunately losing eight seniors, we’re going to have another rebuilding year coming up. They set the stage for how the team should look and hopefully we can continue that.”
The seniors accounted for all the scoring in this one. Patrie continued his terrific season with two goals to power Lynn’s offense. Clougherty scored one goal and dished one assist. Papageorgiou scored one goal. Petkevich, Downey and DiFilippo each logged one assist.
Jets goalie Gallant made 15 saves.
Chris Masta led Essex Tech with one goal and three assists. Hawks goalie Jared McLaughlin brought his A-game, finishing with 32 saves.
“(McLaughlin) played excellent,” Roberts said. “I thought we had the opportunities but it wasn’t a game where we were burying them the way we normally do.”
Essex Tech took a 1-0 lead a little over a minute into the game. Lynn weathered the storm through the majority of the period until the Jets were whistled for a 5-minute major penalty. The Hawks cashed in with 11.6 seconds left in the period and carried a 2-0 lead at the first intermission.
Patrie put Lynn on the scoreboard, making the most of a one-on-one look at McLaughlin in net to start the second period. The Hawks bumped their lead to 3-1 two minutes later. Clougherty lit the lamp on a powerplay midway through the period but the Hawks scored in the final minute, again, and led 4-2 at the second intermission.
Down two goals, the Jets were put to the test in the third period. Patrie found the back of the net with 14:01 to play, making it a 4-3 game. Essex Tech was granted a power play with 6:03 remaining but Lynn killed the penalty to stay within striking distance. Papageorgiou’s slapshot goal with 3:14 on the clock closed the scoring for the 4-4 tie.
“They could’ve had an opportunity to pack it in, down 4-2 in the third period,” Roberts said. “They never give up, no matter what the situation is. Down three, down two, we can score quickly and we know we’re always going to be in the game. Papageorgiou with the blast from the point saved the day for the seniors.”
The Jets are back on the ice Monday evening (5) when they take on Division 3 North rival Lowell in the Newburyport Bank Classic at Henry Graf Rink.