Hat Tricks gun for 10th straight win vs Watertown - Series Preview (12/20 & 21)
The first-place Danbury Hat Tricks hunt for their 10th consecutive victory Friday night as they host the Watertown Wolves. They'll be venturing up to Watertown Saturday night for a rematch as they try to tighten their grip on the top spot in the Eastern Division.
Here's what fans can keep an eye on heading into this marquee matchup.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Saturday's 8-3 win over Watertown was the utter control the Hat Tricks had over the third period. With the Wolves trailing by three and needing a Herculean effort to climb back into the game and prevent the loss of first place, they mustered just three shots on goal from low-danger areas. It was a surprising turn of events, considering the back-and-forth offensive showdown that transpired the night before.
Watertown was credited with 56 shots on goal Friday night at home and just 25 Saturday on the road.
Much of the credit goes to the Danbury forecheck and the great close-out ability of their defenders. Martin Tuma in particular had a terrific physical game on Saturday, rewarded by his teammates by getting to Hoist the Litchfield Distillery Barrel after the game.
That said, expect a reinvigorated effort from the Wolves this weekend as they look to reclaim the top seed in the East.
the emergence of bogdziul
Dominik Bogdziul completes one of the most lethal lines in the FPHL, alongside Dominic Boudreau and Tyler Gjurich for the Wolves. He's notched 12 points in his 11 games with the team, constantly generating offensive pressure with quick passing and a strong release on his shot.
Bogdziul's intelligence on the ice heightens his creativity. A player with international experience playing on the Lithuanian National Team, he's a heady player with instinctual drive to the net. With the ability to weave into the play on the rush or spot up for a backdoor pass, he's a terrific complement with the powerful finishing ability of his two linemates.
Expect to see the top defensive pairing match up with the Wolves' best trio. That means a whole lot of Aaron Atwell and Steve Brown.
steady goes mcguckin
Tom McGuckin deserves a ton of credit for this run the Hat Tricks are on. McGuckin has won his last six appearances dating back to a shutdown relief performance against the Elmira Enforcers. He's growing increasingly confident in net, learning when to play the puck and controlling his rebounds with improved regularity.
Not to mention, his Big Save Moments have been highlight-reel-worthy, stymying his fair share of breakaways and odd-man rushes along this winning streak. And his new pads look pretty cool, too.
McGuckin will likely start again Friday night against the Wolves. He stopped a personal-best 52 shots last Friday against Watertown.
The Watertown Wolves will have but one thing on their mind: revenge. The Hat Tricks have to be ready for a furious effort out of Watertown Friday. On top of that, they'll need to maintain their same aggressive approach when traveling on Saturday to upstate New York be it a win or loss on Friday.
The more wins Danbury can string together, the bigger the target on their back gets. Which is an exciting position to be in.
Tickets for this Friday's matchup against the Wolves can be purchased by clicking here.