Exeter, NH- Josh Henke scored a natural hat trick to lead the Jersey Hitmen past the Junior Bruins 6-3 at the Beantown Fall Classic in Exeter, NH, this afternoon.
After fifteen minutes of hockey that featured both goaltenders making several spectacular saves, Brendan Bradley and Andrew Black set up John Furgele, who took a shot that bounced off Sean Lawrence’s pad and trickled into the net.
Twenty seconds later, Jack Riley made it 2-0 in favor of the Hitmen when he scored from Tim Clifton and Danny Lopez.
Frank Vatrano put the Bruins on the board with 3:24 on the clock. Ryan Cloonan sent an errant pass out of the zone and Paul Russell chased it down to wave off the icing call. Once Russell picked up the puck, he skated around the net and passed it to Vatrano, who shot it past Hitmen goaltender Chris Funkey.
Alex Brink tied the game with 12:51 remaining in the second period when he banged home Ryan Cloonan’s rebound. Mac Cook also assisted on the play.
Vatrano gave the Bruins the lead 11:28 into the period when he tipped in Kyle Nickerson’s shot from Cody Smith for a power play goal.
The Hitmen tied the game 1:33 into the final period when Dominic Trento skated down the left wing and passed to Jason Stephanik in the slot. Stephanik then hit Josh Henke with a pass and Henke tipped it past Lawrence.
Henke scored again to put the Hitmen back in front when he pounced on the puck in front of the net and banged it in.
Lawrence skated off for an extra attacker with 1:23 remaining, but the move backfired. Connor Costello and Michael Barrett sent Henke on a breakaway, but he was hooked as he approached the net and was awarded the goal with thirty seconds on the clock.
Trevor Owens capped off the scoring with ten seconds remaining when he ripped a shot from the point past Lawrence. Mark Knowlton and Chris Taff assisted.
Lawrence made 40 saves in the contest while Hitmen goalie Chris Funkey turned away 35. The Hitmen return to action on November 3rd when they host the Springfield Pics and the Bruins take to the ice next on November 7th when they play the Boston Bandits in Bridgewater.
-Mike Klein, 28 October 2012