Game Recap: Hat Tricks on Losing End of Another Track Meet in Watertown

by Doug Lattuca

WATERTOWN, NY — In a back-and-forth barn burner inside the Watertown Municipal Arena on Friday night, the Hat Tricks were outdueled by the Wolves, 6-5 in the third meeting between the teams this season. Reminiscent of the first time these teams met back on Oct. 13 in Watertown, eleven goals were scored in first two periods. And just like the opener, no one found the back of the net in the third.

If you tuned into the first period of Friday night’s game, you might have thought you were watching a replay of that season opener, also a 6-5 Watertown victory. That mid-October night saw four goals in the first frame while Friday night had six scores in the opening 20 minutes.

The Hat Tricks were granted an early power play due to a Watertown pre-game warm up violation and didn’t waste much time getting on the board. Forward Sam Dabrowski wristed a left circle shot into the top right corner just 43 ticks in to give the Hat Tricks a 1-0 lead.

About five minutes later, the Hat Tricks struck again. Forward Nick DiNicola tipped a centering pass from defenseman John Macdonald inside the right post to extend the lead to two. DiNicola has three goals and one assist in three games against the Wolves this season.

But like game one of the 2023-24 campaign, the Wolves howled back with three consecutive goals to push ahead. D-man Trevor Lord struck first with his fifth goal of the season at 7:13. Lord scored four goals in the season opener against the Hat Tricks and has eight points against Danbury this year. Then exactly two minutes later, 9:13, Michael Mercurio tied the game in his return for the Wolves. At 10:11, Marc Bottero made it three goals in 2:58 for Watertown to put the Wolves in front 3-2.

Despite being on the opposite end of the momentum, Danbury’s Dmitry Kuznetsov wacked home a rebound at 17:34 to knot things up at three and that’s how the period ended.

The second session didn’t provide much of a break for either side as five more goals were scored. Watertown forward Tate Leeson netted his fifth score and eighth point against the Hat Tricks this season to restore a one-goal advantage.

The Hat Tricks were granted a five-minute power play following a Dustin Henning elbowing major and game misconduct, but Watertown was the team that benefitted. Carter Thornton was sprung on a shorthanded breakaway and snapped it over the left shoulder of Hat Tricks goalie Kevin Lake for a 5-3 advantage.

But the Hat Tricks stormed back with two goals of their own in a 2:09 span. First, Dabrowski tapped home his second of the game at 10:08. Then, forward Jacob Ratcliffe evened things up at 12:17 on a three-on-one pass from captain Jonny Ruiz.

The Hat Tricks nearly killed off a five-minute cross-checking major (and game misconduct) handed out to defenseman Zach Pamaylaon at 13:28 but Leeson found the top left corner of the net for his second of the night to nudge Watertown ahead.

In the third, the Hat Tricks fired 11 shots at the cage but couldn’t beat goalie Josh Rosenzweig. Rosenzweig entered the game in relief of the starter Eloi Bouchard after the Hat Tricks jumped ahead 2-0 in the first.

The Hat Tricks outshot the Wolves 39-29 in the game.

Tate Leeson has six goals and four assists in three games against the Hat Tricks.

The Hat Tricks host Binghamton Saturday night at 7 p.m.

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