Game Recap: Hat Tricks Force Game 3, Best Rockers 4-2 on Road

by Jordan Simmons & Doug Lattuca

FRASER, MI — The Hat Tricks knocked off the Rockers 4-2 on Saturday night in the second game of the best-of-three Empire Division Semifinals to create a win-and-advance scenario on Sunday. Rookie Kolby Johnson’s second goal of the game at 4:21 of the third period proved to be the game-winner while Jonny Ruiz added an insurance tally, shorthanded, at 17:09 to thwart Motor City’s comeback attempt.

At 14:23 of the first period, Johnson corralled the puck at the right circle and roofed it over the left shoulder of Rockers’ netminder Trevor Babin to open the scoring in a must-win Game 2 for the Hat Tricks.

7:22 through the second, Motor City forward TJ Sneath, who scored the overtime game-winner in Game 1 on Friday, deflected a point shot past Danbury’s goaltender Conor McCollum to even the score at 1-1. Five minutes later, Daniel McKitrick ripped a shot from the left circle over the glove of Babin and bar down to put the Hat Tricks back in the lead.

4:20 into the third frame, Johnson notched his second of the game on a wrist shot from the far side to push the lead to two. Two minutes later, the Rockers responded when defenseman Josh Colten wristed a point shot off of a Hat Trick and in. With time winding down and the Rockers on the power play with under three minutes remaining, Ruiz roofed a short-handed backhander over Babin’s glove for the insurance goal to extend the lead to 4-2.

Hat Tricks netminder Connor McCollum stopped 34 of 36 shots while Babin allowed 4 goals on 30 shots. 

The third and final game of the opening round series is Sunday at 5:05 p.m. at Big Boy Arena in Fraser, Michigan. The winner advances to the second round against top-seeded Binghamton.

The Hat Tricks are in the opening round of the playoffs and we want you to be a part of our cup defense! Playoff tickets are on sale! Secure a comprehensive playoff ticket package for just $66 or go game-by-game with our single-game ticket option! Click here for more information or call Herm Sorcher at (973) 713-7547 to secure your tickets today! Don't miss the excitement of the playoffs—get your tickets now and join us in supporting the Danbury Hat Tricks!

To stay up to date on all things Danbury Hat Tricks hockey, go to