Hat Tricks Topple Thunderbirds in Game 3 of Commissioner's Cup Finals

by Chris Lynch

Danbury, CT- The Danbury Hat Tricks limped home to Western Connecticut after dropping the first two games of the Commissioner’s Cup Championship Series to the Carolina Thunderbirds in Winston-Salem last weekend. On Friday night, Danbury roared back to life in front of a lively crowd at the Danbury Ice Arena with a 6-2 final.

Carolina opened the scoring 3:05 into the opening stanza behind a brilliant Gus Ford pass to Tucker Firth who beat Brian Wilson to give the Thunderbirds the early lead. Daniel McKitrick answered with a wired shot off a drop feed from Lucas DeBenedet for his first goal of the postseason to even the score.

After the intermission, Joe Kennedy returned Carolina to the lead with a beautiful solo effort 9:19 into the second period. Daniel McKitrick called for a pass and potted his second goal of the game to tie the game 11:36 into the second period. Following a delayed penalty, Brendan Dowler wound up for a long range shot and potted a goal to give the Hat Tricks the lead for good. Jacob Ratcliffe added one more goal off a feed from Jonny Ruiz with two seconds left in the period to put the Hat Tricks up 4-2.

Carolina threatened Brian Wilson in the third, but the FPHL’s Co-Goaltender of the Year stopped all 11 shots in the final frame for a game total of 25 saves on 27 shots faced. Tobias Odjick recorded his third empty net goal of the playoffs and Daniel Amesbury notched his first point of the postseason by taking the puck off Gregg Hussey’s stick behind the net and tucking it in to end the score at 6-2.

Daniel McKitrick ended his night with three points, doubling his postseason scoring in one night. 

Hussey stopped 27 of 32 shots in the Carolina net.

Carolina leads the FPHL Championship Series two games to one.

Game Four of the Commissioner’s Cup Championship Series is scheduled for Saturday at the Danbury Ice Arena. Tickets are available by clicking the link here.