Dejá vú: Prowlers steal OT win for second night

by Casey Bryant

Same script, different night. The Danbury Hat Tricks once more found themselves in extra time with the Port Huron Prowlers and once more found themselves the victim of an overtime goal from the Prowlers' top line. Matt Robertson's winner helped Port Huron secure the sweep of the opening series to the tune of a 4-3 final.

The Hat Tricks sprung out to an early lead as defender Steve Mele made a marvelous move from the point, maneuvering his way along the perimeter to the goal line and roofing a wrister past Chris Paulin. The Prowlers answered with 43 seconds remaining the first period, as Matt Robertson scored the first of what would be three goals on the night.

Both teams were hit with a myriad of penalties in the second period, trading powerplay goals. Port Huron's Austin Fetterly buried a shot from between the hashmarks nine minutes into the frame, only to be countered by a netmouth scramble tally from Cory Anderson.

Danbury would be tagged with five penalties in the second period alone, but escaped tied 2-2.

While the difficulties staying out of the box carried over into the third period, Vladyslav Gavrik gave the Hat Tricks the lead with a terrific physical shift on the man advantage. 

On the ensuing face-off, Danbury center Cory Anderson shoved Matt Graham of the Prowlers and earned a roughing minor. It took just 40 seconds for Port Huron to make them pay, as Matt Robertson again struck on the powerplay.

Despite playing a 5-on-3 for the final two minutes, the Prowlers were unable to capitalize. Danbury survived to overtime, but would go no further. In extra time, Nicola Levesque rifled a shot on Paulin that sailed wide of an open netmouth. The puck rattled around the glass, springing Port Huron for a rush the other direction. Robertson planted himself in front and sheathed the dagger, earning the hat trick and the victory.

"We've got to be better," head coach Billy McCreary said after the game. "We want to be physical, we want to compete. It's encouraging to take these guys to overtime back to back nights, but there's some things we want to clean up going forward."

The Hat Tricks take their show on the road next weekend, visiting the Danville Dashers.