Marlboro, MA- Tim Clifton scored two goals to lead the Jersey Hitmen to a 5-2 win over the Islanders Hockey Club in the first game of the EJHL Dineen Cup Championship Series.
The Hitmen seized an early territorial advantage, peppering Islanders goaltender Colton Phinney with shots in the first two minutes, but had nothing to show for it. That changed when Trevor Owens broke down the left wing and passed the puck to Clifton in the slot. Clifton shot the puck top shelf to give the Hitmen the lead 2:41 into the game.
Chris Izmirlian tied the game just thirty-two seconds later. Zach Sanford set up Michael Doherty at the goal line, and Doherty hit Izmirlian with a pass which he fired past Hitmen goaltender Chris Funkey.
Josh Henke put the Hitmen back in front when he took a pass from Eric Sade, skated into the zone, and roofed the puck over Phinney’s glove.
Mike Jamieson tied the game 4:54 into the second period when he picked up Ian McGilvrey’s rebound and buried it. Conor MacPhee also assisted on the play.
Clifton netted his second of the game with a shot from the right circle with 12:32 on the clock to put the Hitmen back in front.
Phinney and Funkey kept the teams off the board for much of the third period, but with 2:49 to go, Michael Barrett stood behind the net and sent a short pass to Corbin McGuire, who jammed it past Phinney to give the Hitmen a two-goal lead.
Phinney skated off for the extra attacker with 39 seconds remaining, but Andrew Black sealed the victory with an empty-net goal with nine seconds to play.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)