by Hat Tricks Staff

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Dmitry Kuznetsov scored his ninth goal of the season in overtime to give the Danbury Hat Tricks (6-3-1, 17 pts) a 3-2 win over the Carolina Thunderbirds (5-5-1, 14 pts) on Saturday night.

Kuznetsov put the exclamation point on a two-goal night, his third multi-goal performance in 10 games this season. The forward’s nine goals lead the team.

Danbury got off to a hot start on Saturday night, scoring the first two goals of the game. In a loss on Friday, the Hat Tricks surrendered the first two goals of the contest.

“We had a better start tonight and played much better in our own zone,” said head coach Dave MacIsaac.

Jonny Ruiz opened the scoring after a scoreless first period at 5:23 of the second. The captain extended his point streak to 10 games to begin the season. Ruiz leads the Hat Tricks with 14 points. Gordy Bonnel added a helper on the Ruiz goal to record his 10th point of the season.

Kuznetsov scored both of his goals on breakaway opportunities, making almost identical moves to beat Carolina goaltender Chris Paulin.

The Russian forward’s first tally came as he stole a puck at his own blue line and streaked in to beat Paulin.

His overtime goal was assisted by Aaron Atwell, who now has eight assists to lead the Hat Tricks.

Goaltender Will McEwen recorded his second win of the season, stopping 30 of 32 shots in the Hat Tricks win.

Danbury completes its four-game road trip on Sunday when it travels to Delaware to take on the Thunder. Puck drop is at 3 p.m. and can be seen on the Thunder YouTube channel.