WOBURN– The Lynn Jets needed to elevate their play in the closing minutes of Saturday’s Division 3 North quarterfinal round game if they wanted to come away with the win. Lynn scored three unanswered goals, netminder Jack Gallant made key saves and the No. 3 Jets skated to a 6-3 win over No. 6 Shawsheen at Woburn’s Ned O’Brien Rink.
With the win, Lynn advanced to the Division 3 North semifinal- where it’s season ended a year ago.
“They’re grinders,” Lynn coach Mike Roberts said of his Jets. “That’s we talked about in the locker room beforehand, trusting the system that we’ve put in place since day one. Nothing’s changed. We want to be aggressive on the forecheck, we want to have our third guy high protecting. If we’re physical on that first man, we’re going to create turnovers and scoring opportunities. It was evident they kept trusting the system.
“They beared down when the game got tight. All those little things that we needed to do came to fruition. It was a great team win and Jack, in that third period, was absolutely stellar.”
The star of Lynn’s offense Saturday was Andrew Patrie, who continues to cause headaches for opposing defenses as a key piece to the Jets’ first line. Patrie scored three goals, including an empty-netter in the final seconds, and dished one assist.
“Andrew’s been the beneficiary of that line one’s hard work,” Roberts said. “He’s burying all the opportunities when he gets them. When we need the spark, he’s been there all year to bury the biscuit. He scored 30 goals in the regular season and continues his torrid pace.”
Matt Devin, John DiFilippo and Paul Papageorgiou each scored once. Brian Clougherty logged three assists, Owen Downey dished two and Troy Petkevich had one.
The Jets made things tough on themselves with a couple penalties in the opening period but answered the bell to keep Shawsheen away. With 6:51 to go in the first period, Patrie scored the game’s first goal on a picture-perfect pass from DiFilippo. The Rams tied it at 1-1 30 seconds later on Dan McGaffigan’s tally. But goals from DiFilippo and Papageorgiou helped Lynn make the most of a Shawsheen 5-minute major penalty, guiding the Jets to a 3-1 edge at the first intermission.
Lynn’s didn’t sustain its momentum in the second period. Nathan Silva scored the lone goal of the period, trimming Lynn’s lead to 3-2. Silva’s shot hit the top crossbar and landed over the line for the goal. Shawsheen was whistled for a pair of penalties and killed them both.
Silva cashed in on a one-on-one with Gallant to tie the game at 3-3 with 13:12 to play. Seconds later, DiFilippo appeared to have scored the go-ahead goal but the referees waved it off and it remained tied for the next five minutes.
After Shawsheen was whistled for its fourth penalty of the game, Patrie lit the lamp on the power play for the 4-3 lead. With 5:46 to go, Devin gave the Jets much-needed breathing room. Devin bumped Lynn’s lead to 5-3 with a Zdeno Chara-like slapshot.
“Matt’s a sophomore but he’s one the big-body kids that we’ve got,” Roberts said. “All year long I’ve been telling him to use his size and take slapshots from those areas.”
Patrie sealed the 6-3 win with an empty-netter in the final minute.
The Jets will take on No. 2 Lowell in the semifinal round Wednesday (7) at Chelmsford Forum.
“The next one’s going to be tough,” Roberts said. “As you get into the next round they get tougher and tougher. We’ve seen Lowell (6-2 Lynn loss Feb. 18). We’ll be ready for them. We’ll have to be ready to play physically again. Their defense moves the puck side-to-side very well and they get up out of the zone quickly. We’ll have to limit their speed and trap them in the neutral zone in order to keep pace. If they play the way they did (Saturday) and bring the heart they gave me, we’ll in for a battle and we’ll be back in the same spot we were in last year. It’s not a spot we haven’t been in before and I think that’ll help us Wednesday.”