Hat Tricks Top Thunder

by Herm Sorcher

Danbury, CT- After dropping a shootout in Watertown, the Danbury Hat Tricks returned home to get back on the winning side of the ledger against the Delaware Thunder. The Hat Tricks accomplished their goal, but not without a serious fight from their guests. 

The game appeared not destined for that fate after the first period. The Hat Tricks opened the scoring with a wicked shorthanded goal by Dustin Jesseau for his team leading 16th goal off a beautiful stretch pass from Jarod Yau for his 13th assist of the season at the 7:10 mark of the opening stanza. On a five-on-three power play, Hat Trick Captain Jonny Ruiz potted his first of two goals on the evening at the 12:02 mark of the frame. Michael Falanga capped the Hat Tricks’ first period scoring party at the 17:20 mark. 

“He told me that that was his first goal in four years,” said Hat Tricks Head Coach Billy McCreary. “So that was an awesome thing to see him capitalize on the chance and score.”

Delaware went into the first intermission down 3-0 and pushed back in the second period. Denis Gafarov and Chris Corgan scored 1:09 and 2:25 into the frame and put a scare into the Hat Tricks. Dmitry Kuznetsov restored a multi-goal lead to the Hat Tricks at the 4:02 mark of the second, but Delaware answered again. Danila Milushkin wired a pretty shot upstairs to cut the lead back to 4-3 before the second intermission. 

The third period brought more fraught back-and-forth play. Jonny Ruiz scored his second goal of the night to open up the scoring. 

“He’s been outstanding,” said McCreary. “That’s why he wears the C. He’s tough, responsible in all three zones, and leads us on and off the ice.”

The teams traded goals for the remainder of the frame. Delaware’s Denis Gafarov went first, scoring a power play goal at the 10:28 mark of the period. Brendan Sheehan answered with his third point of the night at 12:32. Chris Corgan cut the lead down to one another time with Delaware’s final and third power play goal of the night at 17:57. With time winding down, Sandy Hook native Evan Lugo ended the scoring night to make the final 7-5.

All throughout the night, the two teams traded blows multiple times. Daniel Amesbury dropped the mitts three times, first in the opening frame against Alex Basey, second in the second period against Justin Movalli, and one final tilt in the third against Basey again. After the third, Amesbury and Basey both were ejected from the game. Jarod Yau and Houston Wilson added one more bout with just four seconds left to send both teams to the locker rooms bruised and weary. 

Parker Butler got the win in his first game on home ice with 18 saves on 23 shots 


Trevor Martin stopped 26 of 33 shots in the Delaware net. 

The Hat Tricks improve to 17-1-2 overall and stay perfect at home on the 2022-23 season. 

Delaware drops to 1-18-1 and has lost 15 consecutive games. 

The Thunder travel to Watertown for a Boxing Day matchup before rematching with the Hat Tricks back at the Danbury Arena on December 27th. Puck drop for the rematch and Danbury’s final home game for calendar year 2022 is scheduled for 7PM.