DiNicola nets hat trick, Danbury extends win streak to six

by Casey Bryant

Nick DiNicola introduced himself to the Danbury faithful in explosive fashion, netting the hat trick in Hat Tricks history en route to a 6-4 victory.

The Hat Tricks leapt out to a 2-0 lead in the early goings of the first period, as Cory Anderson and Phil Bronner found the back of the net. Shortly after Bronner's tally, Eli Kinsman buried a wrist shot past Tom McGuckin's blocker to get the Thunder on the board.

It would take just 21 seconds for the Hat Tricks to respond, as Matyas Kasek snuck a turnaround shot past Thunder goaltender Cody Karpinski to give the Hat Tricks another two-goal lead. Delaware would cut into the deficit once more before period's end, as an Anton Kalinin slapshot deflected off a Danbury stick and found twine.

Delaware's Taylor Cutting would bring the game back to even with a powerplay goal early in the second period. Midway through the frame, Nick DiNicola would score his first as a member of the team, sprung for a breakaway by an expert Gordy Bonnel saucer pass.

With both sides trading high-danger chances, Ryan Marker would once more knot the score for the Thunder with his 14th goal of the season 6:14 into the third. In the waning minutes of regulation time, the Hat Tricks found themselves on a 5-on-3 powerplay with a prime opportunity to reassert the lead. A Jonny Ruiz backdoor pass would find the stick of DiNicola who banged home his second of the game.

Moments later, DiNicola again found himself the recipient of a cross-crease pass, securing the first hat trick in Danbury Hat Tricks history and ensuring a 6-4 win. DiNicola, a Wolcott, CT native, had his family in the stands to cheer him on in his first game with his hometown team. He was rewarded with the first star of the game.

"It wasn't pretty, but good teams find a way to win," head coach Billy McCreary commented after the game. "We kinda eased [DiNicola] into the lineup tonight but he gave us a lot of energy. He possesses the puck, he makes plays, and he got better as the game went along."

Tom McGuckin stopped 29 shots in the win. Carter Shinkaruk registered three assists, two of them primary.

Danbury rides their six-game winning streak into the rematch tomorrow night at Danbury Arena agains the Thunder. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.