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PEABODY — It was all smiles as the Lynn Jets hockey team celebrated the 2018-2019 season at its annual team banquet and awards ceremony at Spinelli’s Monday night.
The Jets reflected on a season that included its share of ups and downs but no lack of positive highlights. After a tough start to the season at Somerville, followed by another lackluster performance in a loss to Gloucester, the Jets found their footing and progressed to play their best
hockey when it counted most. Lynn finished the regular season at 12-4-4 and earned the No. 3 seed in the Division 3 North state tournament. After a first-round bye, the Jets took down Shawsheen with a 6-3 win. Lynn’s season ended in the sectional semifinal with a 5-2 loss to Division 3 powerhouse Lowell, the eventual sectional champion.
“We’ve rattled off 26 wins and eight ties over the past two seasons,” Jets second-year coach Mike Roberts said. “That a .700 win percentage and that’s a testament to the efforts of our players.”
When Roberts took over the program, one of his main goals was tweak Lynn’s offense into a high-powered unit. This season’s team bought into his philosophy of stretching the ice and beating opponents with speed, and the numbers prove it.
“We scored 109 goals this season,” Roberts said. “That’s a testament to the hard work our guys dedicated throughout the season. It was fun to watch our offense this season.”
Lynn’s first line was one of the better units in both the Northeastern Conference and Division 3. Brian Clougherty, who had a monster junior season in 2017-2018, drew plenty of attention from opposing defenses. In stepped fellow seniors John DiFillippo, who scored his 100th point this past season, and Andrew Patrie, who scored 30 goals (he’s the first single-season 30-goal scorer in Jets program history). All three were honored with plaques for their stellar seasons at Monday’s banquet. Clougherty and DiFilippo represented the Jets in the annual Shriners All-Star Classic this past weekend.
“After last year’s success and who we graduated it was hard to tell where we’d be this year,” Roberts said. “We had a lot of talent and a great nucleus. We started 0-1-1 and things weren’t looking good after we lost to Gloucester. After that we never lost back to back games all season.
“Myself and my assistant coaches (Brian Boisson, Joe Gunning, J.R. Plourde and D.J. Pinkham) had a great time with this team,” Roberts said. “It’s all about having fun and we had a great locker room. The guys bought into the motto ‘one team, one family.'”
The award winners included DiFilippo and Clougherty, Team MVP’s; DiFilippo, Hobey Baker Award; Jack Gallant, Jack Gallant Sportsmanship and Perseverance Award; Patrie, Offensive Player of the Year; Owen Downey, Defensive Player of the Year; Paul Papageorgiou, Unsung Hero; Troy Petkevich, Comeback Player of the Year, Aidan Seitz, Jet Engine Hustle Award; Tristan French, Most Improved; Matthew Leonard, Student Athlete Award (Leonard sports a 4.13 GPA).
The Jets also named next season’s captains. They are John MacDonald and Luke Rao with assistant captains Christian Alquinta and Matthew Devin.
“John and Luke are two hard working players that have put in the time, progressed as hockey players and have the ability to lead our team this season,” Roberts said. “I’m confident they’ll do just that. Matt and Chrtstian will provide needed support as assistants, and will gain the experience needed from having responsibilities placed on their shoulders as underclassmen.”
The eight seniors graduating from this season’s team are Clougherty, DiFilippo, Downey, Gallant, Papageorgiou, Patrie, Petkevich and Seitz.