Danbury Hat Tricks Knock Out Black Bears, Secure Finals Bid
Danbury, CT- For the second consecutive season, the Danbury Hat Tricks and Binghamton Black Bears met in an electric series that went the distance. And for the second consecutive season, Binghamton forced Danbury on their back foot with an opening game win in the valley of opportunity. The Hat Tricks completed the repeat with a pair of home victories, this year’s coming in the form of a 5-2 Saturday victory and a brilliant 3-1 series capper on Monday night in front of a lively Danbury Ice Arena crowd.
The night looked to be tinted green early on. Binghamton opened the scoring 3:14 into proceedings behind a hard push from Jestin Somero. That lead did not hold for long, though. Daniel McKitrick and Gordie Bonnell combined to force a turnover and set up Michael Marchesan who potted his sixth goal and tenth point in five playoff games 9:20 into the frame.
The teams combined for an entertaining but goalless second period filled with hits, chipiness, physicality and deliberation about penalty calls.
With tension cranked up in the third period, Danbury survived a flurry of Black Bear chances thanks to the heroics of Brian Wilson, who stopped 27 of 28 shots. Danbury created an offensive push and capitalized on a bouncing puck that rolled up to the point. Marbledale, CT, native Brendan Dowler wound up and blasted the puck from the blue line into the twine to stake Danbury to the lead with 11:18 left in regulation. Danbury limited the Black Bears’ chances down the stretch and Tobias Odjick capped the night with a fitting empty net goal to secure the 3-1 final score and advance to the first Commissioner’s Cup Finals in franchise history.
Talor Joseph stopped 20 of 22 shots faced in the Binghamton net.
The Black Bear’s season concludes a game short of the Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
Danbury will face the Carolina Thunderbirds in the Championship Series. Games one and two will be in Winston-Salem on Friday, May 5th and Saturday May 6th. Games three, four and five are scheduled for Friday May 12th, Saturday May 13th, and Sunday May 14th.
All finals games will be broadcast on the Danbury Hat Trick YouTube Channel.
Tickets are available for the Commissioner's Cup Championship Series by clicking on the link here.
Pictures by Chris Rutsch