Junior hockey: Benjamin Jenkinson's hat trick pushes South Shore past Twin City Thunder
Mar. 13—Benjamin Jenkinson scored his second and third goals of the game in the final eight minutes of regulation as the South Shore Kings broke away from the Twin City Thunder for a 5-2 win in a USPHL NCDC regular-season finale Monday in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
The two teams were tied 2-2 entering the third period.
The Thunder (25-21-4) finish the regular season with 54 points and turn their attention to a North Division play-in game against the Boston Advantage on Wednesday in Auburn. The Kings (28-17-5) compiled 61 points in their 50 games and as the No. 2 seed will host the third-seeded New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs in a North Division playoff matchup.
"I guess it's good to lose now," Thunder coach Dan Hodge said. "We sat some guys. (Ricky) Davis didn't play, (Trace) Norwell didn't play, (Dom) Chasse, he was out. We got them some rest and get ready for Wednesday. So yeah, I mean, again, we've been playing pretty well as of late. We had a little stumble today, but, you know, we got practice tomorrow, and then a huge game on Wednesday."
The Kings played with the lead for much of the game. Jack Hillier scored on the power play 5:27 into the game, and that 1-0 lead stuck for the rest of the first period and into the second.
Patrick Last scored off assists from Tommy Gannon and Lewiston native Nick Pomerleau 13:28 into the second period to put the Thunder on the board and draw them even with the Kings at 1-1.
Jenkinson scored his first goal just over three minutes later to give South Shore the lead again, but Twin City's James Tatro tied the game off an assist from Ben Portner with 1:51 left in the second period.
"Well, you know, we started out sluggish," Hodge said. "They got up on us, and then we had tied it 2-2. We had a 5-on-3 going into the third, and we didn't get (a goal during that), and we didn't have the best finish. I thought our response after their go-ahead goal was less than acceptable."
Hillier notched the primary assist on each of Jenkinson's third-period goals as he completed a hat trick. The first of the two goals came with 7:33 left in regulation, then he struck again on the power play with 4:22 remaining.
"He's their captain, and they played their top guys," Hodge said of Jenkinson. "He scored the game-winner and then he scored on a 2-on-1. So yeah, I mean, that that's why he's wearing a letter for them."
South Shore was 2 for 3 on the man-advantage, while Twin City couldn't convert on its four power-play opportunities.
Ethan Ouyang rounded out the scoring on a goal set up by Hillier with 3:01 left.
Trey Miller made 25 saves in goal for Twin City, while Jacob Torgner turned aside 22 of 24 shots for South Shore.