FPHL Quarterfinals Game 1: Hat Tricks vs. Black Bears
BINGHAMTON, NY – The No. 3 Danbury Hat Tricks play the first playoff game in franchise history on Monday night when they travel to open the 2021-22 Federal Prospects Hockey League Commissioner’s Cup Quarterfinals against the No. 4 Binghamton Black Bears.
During the regular season, Danbury recorded the second-most points (105) and wins (36) in the FPHL. Only two teams scored more regular-season goals than Danbury (253). One of those teams was the No. 1 Watertown Wolves (290) and the other was the Hat Tricks First-Round opponent, the Binghamton Black Bears (288).
All season, Danbury was led by its captain, Jonny Ruiz. The forward recorded a career-high 49 goals and 85 points. Ruiz ended the season fourth in the FPHL in goals and sixth in points.
Binghamton has two of the players who finished above Ruiz in those major offensive categories. FPHL Rookie of the Year Nikita Ivashkin finished second in the league with 56 goals and 98 points. Ivashkin’s veteran teammate Tyler Gjurich scored 55 times and also recorded 98 points.
Hat Tricks goaltender Pete Di Salvo joined the team mid-season, but made an immediate impact. Only two qualified goalies in the FPHL have a save-percentage above .900. In 17 games played for the Hat Tricks, Di Salvo has posted a .912 save-percentage.
“Playoff hockey comes down to defense and goaltending,” said Head Coach Dave MacIsaac. “I’d take our goaltenders over any other team in the league.”
After Game 1 in Binghamton, the two teams will return to finish the series on Tuesday and Wednesday (if necessary) in Danbury.
A watch-party will be hosted inside the Axe Tricks lounge for Monday night’s game. Doors to the lounge will open at 6 p.m.
The first playoff game in Hat Tricks history begins at 7 p.m. on Monday night. The game can be seen on the Hat Tricks YouTube channel.