Hat Tricks Suffer Season's First Loss in Carolina

by Herm Sorcher

Winston-Salem, NC- After a 5-0 start to the season, the Danbury Hat Tricks suffered their first defeat of the season to the Carolina Thunderbirds. 

Danbury started the game strong, notching a goal at the opening period's 12:52 mark. Luke Richards did the honors with Dmitry Kuznetsov setting him up. But the goal came in a frame in which the Hat Tricks were outshot 18-15, with goalie Brian Wilson using every inch of his reach and ounce of his flexibility to keep the Hat Tricks afloat. 

Wilson did similarly well in the second period, keeping the Thunderbirds off the board until the Hat Tricks took one-too-many penalties. Kyle Gonzales took the seventh minor of the game to that point for the Hat Tricks and with only six seconds left in the frame, Gus Ford scored his first goal of the night to tie the game. 

The third period was a similarly fraught battle that saw no change to the score, so off to Overtime both teams went. Danbury took a pair of penalties as overtime started. Steven Leonard got out of the box, Brendan Dowler did not. While the Thunderbirds stayed on the power play, Gus Ford scored his second goal of the game to give Carolina the 2-1 overtime win and deal the Hat Tricks their first loss of the season. 

Wilson made 41 saves on 43 shots faced in the game. Carolina goalie Boris Babik stopped 38 of 39 shots faced in an excellent goalie duel. 

Danbury returns home to face the Elmira Mammoth for the first time. Puck drop on Friday is 7:30 PM. Friday is also Military Appreciation Day. The Hat Tricks welcome all members of the United States Military to enjoy a night at the Danbury Ice Arena. To register for a complimentary ticket, beverage, and hot dog, click the link here.