Hat Tricks Host River Dragons in Game 1 of Semifinals
DANBURY, CT – The No. 3 Danbury Hat Tricks host the No. 2 Columbus River Dragons for Game 1 of the FPHL Commissioner’s Cup Semifinals on Friday night.
Danbury enters after defeating the Binghamton Black Bears in three games in the First Round. After losing Game 1 on the road in overtime, the Hat Tricks returned home for Game 2 and faced elimination until the final seconds of regulation. Steve Mele pushed a puck in with 13 seconds left in the third to force overtime and Nicola Levesque won the game early in the extra frame.
In Game 3, Danbury scored three times in the first and held on in the third for a 5-3 victory. Including the two playoff-wins, the Hat Tricks are 26-6-0 on home ice this season.
The River Dragons enter Friday’s Game 1 with five days of rest after earning a bye through the First Round as the No. 2 seed. Columbus won the season series between the teams, going 3-2-1 in six games.
In late February, Danbury hosted Columbus for three games. Danbury won the first two games of that series, 4-1 and 4-2. However, Columbus responded with a 5-2 win in the third game to hand Danbury one of its six home losses.
A couple weeks later, the teams played three games in Columbus. Danbury began the series with a 3-2 shootout-win before Columbus won the final two games 3-2 and 3-0.
Overall, Columbus was 32-17-5 during the regular season, but was not as successful on the road. Away from the Columbus Civic Center, the River Dragons went 12-12-2 through the regular season.
The Hat Tricks also fared better at home during the regular season, but with Game 2 and Game 3 (if necessary) being in Georgia, Danbury will need to win a road game to advance to the league finals.
Tickets for Friday’s game are available here. Friday’s game will be listed as Game C when purchasing tickets. The puck will drop at 7:30 p.m. and the game will be available on the Hat Tricks YouTube channel.