Hat Tricks roll into Delaware to face Thunder - Series Preview (2/7 & 8)

by Casey Bryant

The Danbury Hat Tricks, still riding the high of a three-game home sweep of the Carolina Thunderbirds, hit the road to take on the Delaware Thunder tonight and tomorrow night. Live game streaming will be featured on the Thunder Youtube channel

Hat Trick fans are invited to the Rabbit Hole at Danbury Arena for a special watch party of the weekend's games. All draft Budweisers will be just $4 with appetizer specials also running from 6-10pm Friday and Saturday night.

Let's take a look at what fans can expect on the ice from this Eastern Division showdown.

shinksy scoring streak

Carter Shinkaruk has been one of the hottest players in the FPHL of late, exploding for 16 points in his last six games including a pair of hat tricks. His play has been especially elevated since being united with former Evansville Thunderbolts teammate Shayne Morrissey, who himself has posted 17 points in eight games with Danbury.

Rounding out the line is winger Casper Dyrssen, who is currently riding a six-game point streak with six goals and seven assists. Dyrssen has also had a flair for the dramatic of late, netting the game-winning goal in both last Thursday's shootout and Friday's contest against Carolina.

Depth scoring has been a strength for the Hat Tricks all season long, and their lineup will be bolstered even more by the return of Cory Anderson from suspension Saturday night.

powerplay thriving

Danbury's powerplay took the Carolina Thunderbirds' penalty kill unit to task last weekend, tallying six powerplay goals in three games against the top kill team in the league. Their powerplay is now the second-best in the league, operating at 24.4% efficiency.

Jonny Ruiz had a pair of goals and an assist on the man advantage against Carolina last weekend. For Ruiz, it was a return to form as he snapped a 10-game goalless drought. Ruiz and the Hat Tricks will be looking to capitalize against the second-worst penalty kill in the league. The Thunder have just a 76.9% success rate shorthanded.

delaware's scoring woes

The Thunder experienced success against the Hat Tricks the last time Danbury paid them a visit back on January 10th and 11th, potting 10 goals in two games including a 6-4 win. Since that victory, Delaware has averaged just 1.86 goals-for over their last seven games.

Their offense has taken a massive hit especially in light of two recent departures: Ryan Marker to the Watertown Wolves and Brandon Contratto to the Battle Creek Rumble Bees. Leading the way now is Anton Kalinin (27 points in 28 games) and Evgenii Demin (24 in 30). 

final thoughts

Despite the missing faces from the Thunder lineup, Delaware is a scrappy team not to be taken lightly. They are a physical team with some heavy hitters like Brennan Young and Taylor Cutting that can change the momentum of a game. They will be hungry to make a statement against the top team in their division, as they have done before.