Game Recap: Hat Tricks Drop Game One 3-2 in OT, Rockers Lead Series 1-0

by Lexi Burkey & Doug Lattuca

DANBURY — The Hat Tricks were topped by the Rockers 3-2 in overtime in the opening game of the best-of-three Empire Division Semifinals. TJ Sneath buried the game-winner at 16:24 of the extra period to secure Motor City’s first postseason victory in franchise history.

The loss ends the Hat Tricks’ six game playoff win streak at home and pushes the Rockers’ win streak to five.

With just 3:39 left in the first period, Hat Tricks assistant captain Daniel McKitrick lifted the puck over the glove of Trevor Babin off a rebound for the opening goal of the series. Hat Tricks netminder Conor McCollum fought off 17 shots in a goalless first period for the Rockers.

At 9:28 in the second, Team MVP Jonny Ruiz scored on a breakaway, backhanding the puck to the top left corner to extend the lead to 2-0. The Rockers answered at 11:58 on a point shot from Declan Conway that was deflected by Lane King. About a minute later, the Hat Tricks had a goal waved off after Babin smothered the puck on the goal line.

9:31 into the third, Motor City’s Josh Colten tied the game with a wrister from the right point with McCollum screened to pull even at 2-2. The game stayed deadlocked for the remainder of regulation.

After three periods of play, the Hat Tricks outshot the Rockers 52-42.

With 3:36 left in overtime, Sneath received a pass in the low slot and snapped it over the outstretched glove of McCollum to take game one on the road. 

The Hat Tricks attempt to tie the series at one on Saturday night at Big Boy Arena in Fraser, Michigan. The puck drop is set for 7:35 p.m. 

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