Hat Tricks Power Through Thunder, Secure Empire Division Title

by Chris Lynch

Danbury, CT- Sunday’s lone FPHL match saw the Danbury Hat Tricks pepper Delaware Thunder goaltender Spencer Kozlowski with 66 shots, the most in his brief professional career since signing from New England College. He stopped 63 shots and kept the Delaware Thunder in the game before Danbury solved the puzzle late in the third period and secured a 3-2 victory.

The Thunder opened the scoring with former Hat Trick Marquise Grant-Mentis capping an excellent solo effort to take the lead 7:58 into the game. Jacob Ratcliffe answered with a goal to tie the game at 1-1 before the first intermission.

Danila Milushkin reclaimed the lead for Delaware in the second with a beautiful power play roofed shot at the 10:49 mark of the frame. From there, the Hat Tricks controlled the pace of the game entirely. Danbury fired 31 shots on goal in the second period and could not beat Kozlowski.

The Hat Tricks’ fortune turned early in the third when Dmitry Kuznetsov landed a beautiful goal to tie the game at the 1:33 mark. Danbury kept attacking the Delaware defense until finally completing their task at the 18:42 mark of the stanza. Connor Woolley and Lucas DeBenedet played an excellent two-man passing game between each other and DeBenedet landed the shot to take the lead and end the scoring at 3-2 in Danbury’s favor.

Frankie McClendon stopped 29 of 31 shots in the Danbury net.

Connor Woolley and Jarod Yau recorded two assists each for the Hat Tricks.

With the win, the Hat Tricks improve to 38-7-5, good for 111 points, and enough to secure first place in the Empire Division, ensuring home ice for the Hat Tricks for the first two rounds of the post season. They also now lead Columbus by three points for first place in the league overall.

The Hat Tricks and Thunder meet again on Friday, March 31st, to conclude the season series between the teams. Puck drops at 7:30 at the Danbury Ice Arena.