by Hat Tricks Staff

The Danbury Hat Tricks are excited to announce the 2nd Annual Danbury Hockey Alumni Night on February 19th when the Hat Tricks host the Columbus River Dragons.

Danbury has a rich professional hockey history, starting with the Danbury Trashers in the 2004-05 season and continuing through the years with the Mad Hatters, Whalers, Titans and Hat Tricks. Invitations are extended to players, front office and staff from each of those teams to join us for our Alumni Night and participate in the festivities.

As part of the night, Danbury will be wearing a blended jersey featuring the Trashers & Hat Tricks.  These jerseys will be auctioned off, with 100% of the proceeds going toward a scholarship fund in the name of 16-year old Fairfield County hockey player Teddy Balkind. A link for the jersey auction will be provided as the date approaches.

On Feb. 19th, the Hat Tricks will induct five members as the inaugural Ring of Honor class. A banner featuring the names of the honorees will hang alongside the team banners and Corey Fulton’s (Whalers) retired number 15.

This season’s inductees are Jim and AJ Galante from the Trashers, Dave MacIsaac from the Trashers, Mad Hatters, & Hat Tricks, Nick Niedert from the Whalers, Titans, & Hat Tricks, and Matt Caranci from the Whalers and Titans. 

In 2004, Jim Galante brought professional hockey to Danbury founding the Danbury Trashers. Galante was committed to growing the game in Danbury, expanding Danbury Arena to its current capacity and renovating the facilities. Under Galante, the Trashers developed a brand of tough-nosed hockey and made Danbury Arena one of the most intimidating atmospheres in all of hockey for visiting teams.

At 17-years-old, AJ Galante was the youngest general manager in professional hockey history. He led the drive to bring the Trashers to national acclaim, still represented today as featured in the Netflix documentary Untold: Crime & Penalties. Galante led the Trashers to a .647 winning-percentage in their two seasons, accumulating a 92-46-18 record. Under Galante’s leadership, the Trashers made two playoff appearances, including a UHL Finals appearance in 2006.

Dave MacIsaac was a member of both Trashers teams, leading the 2005-06 team as the captain. In 80 total games for the Trashers, MacIsaac logged 46 points and 221 penalty minutes. ‘Diamond Dave’ returned to Danbury in 2008-09 as the head coach of the Danbury Mad Hatters, leading them to a 30-18-2 record. MacIsaac is currently serving as the head coach of the Danbury Hat Tricks.

Nick Niedert spent parts of six seasons for the Danbury Whalers, Titans and Hat Tricks. In 2010, Niedert was the first-ever signing for the Danbury Whalers. Niedert is first all-time in Danbury hockey history with 165 career appearances and second with 50 career wins. Over the course of his career, Niedert is the only goalie to play for three different Danbury teams over his career.

Caranci, has the distinction of playing the most professional games (198) in the Danbury Ice Arena, recording 157 points in those games. Caranci was on four teams that reached the league finals, including three-straight from the 2012-14 seasons. Caranci was a key part of the 2012-13 Danbury Whalers Championship team.

As part of the weekend, all Danbury hockey alumni will be invited to participate in an Alumni Game from 5:45 pm to 6:15 pm, prior to the Hat Tricks game against Columbus. There will be a pre-game reception in the Axe Tricks Lounge and all alumni will be honored at the first intermission of the game. All alumni of the Danbury hockey family are invited to RSVP below for the weekend.