Hat Tricks Top Elmira 5-1!
Danbury, CT- The Danbury Hat Tricks opened their home-and-home against the Elmira Mammoth in style with a 5-1 victory powered by a pair of shorthanded goals.
Defenseman Kyle Gonzalez opened the scoring with a nifty glide in and backhand score on Elmira goaltender Ian Wallace at the 1:19 mark of the opening frame. Danbury added two more goals in the opening stanza. Lucas DeBenedet went first, scoring off a seeing-eye shot to extend the Hat Tricks lead to 2-0 at the 5:13 mark of the frame. Later in the first, while on the penalty kill, Hat Tricks Captain Jonny Ruiz was taken down on a breakaway leading to a penalty shot. Ruiz capitalized on the chance with the Hat Tricks’ first penalty shot goal of the season.
Former Hat Trick Luke Richards got Elmira on the board at the 18:40 mark of the frame to end the first period scoring at 3-1.
Danbury’s scoring push continued in the second period. Michael Marchesan went first, scoring off a Jarod Yau feed and extending the score to 4-1 at the 6:57 mark of the stanza. At the 12:26 mark of the frame, Evan Lugo landed the Hat Tricks’ second goal while on a penalty kill, scoring off a feed from Jonny Ruiz, who recorded three points on the evening. Neither team added a goal in the third period.
Ian Wallace started the game in net for Elmira but was pulled following the Hat Tricks’ fourth goal. Danick Rodrigue entered in relief for the second consecutive game in Danbury, having played for the Prowlers at the Danbury Ice Arena last week.
Brian Wilson stopped 26 of 27 shots in his effort between the Danbury pipes.
Danbury improves to 31-6-5, gaining a point’s worth of cushion over the Binghamton Black Bears for first place in the Empire Division. Elmira falls to 12-25-5.
The teams complete their weekend home-and-home at First Arena on Saturday night. Puck drops in Elmira at 6:35 PM ET.