by Hat Tricks Staff

BINGHAMTON, NY – The Danbury Hat Tricks (4-2-1) travel to New York to face off against the Binghamton Black Bears (5-3-0) for the first ever game between the two teams.

Danbury begins a four-game road trip with Wednesday’s contest in Binghamton.

Here are five things to know ahead of the first meeting between the Hat Tricks and Black Bears.

1. First Meeting

Wednesday night marks the first meeting between the Danbury Hat Tricks and Binghamton Black Bears.

The Hat Tricks were the FPHL’s youngest franchise before Binghamton took the ice this season. Danbury had plenty of success in its inaugural season, winning the FPHL’s Eastern Division title.

Binghamton has started strongly in its first eight games in the FPHL, winning five of those contests. The Black Bears are averaging five goals per game so far this season.

2. Between the Pipes

Frankie McClendon took over between the pipes last weekend in the Hat Tricks home-and-home with Watertown. McClendon was thrown right into the fire, facing 53 shots in his Hat Tricks debut.

McClendon stopped 48 of those shots as the Hat Tricks dropped the game in overtime.

The next night, the Hat Tricks allowed 25 fewer shots. McClendon has made 71 saves in his two starts with Danbury so far this season.

3. Captain’s Consistency

Captain Jonny Ruiz has recorded a point in every game this season for the Hat Tricks. Over the team’s seven games, Ruiz has recorded a total of 10 points.

Ruiz sits second on the team with six goals. The captain has been a big weapon on the power play for Danbury, scoring on three of the team’s seven successful power plays.

“Jonny is a great leader for our team,” said head coach Dave MacIsaac. “His voice carries a lot of weight on the bench and he backs it up on the ice.”

4. Hat tricks for the Hat Tricks

Dmitry Kuznetsov started his Hat Tricks career off with a bang, scoring a hat trick on opening night against Port Huron.

After just one goal in three games following the opening weekend sweep of the Prowlers, Kuznetsov re-announced himself in Watertown on Friday, Nov. 19th.

In the first half of the home-and-home with the Wolves, Kuznetsov netted his second Hat Trick of the season.

The forward from Tyumen, Russia leads the Hat Tricks with seven goals and sits in a three-way tie for second on the team with eight points.

5. Scouting the Black Bears 

Binghamton leads the FPHL in offense, scoring 40 goals so far this season. The key cog in the Black Bears attack is forward Nikita Ivashkin.

Ivashkin leads the league with 11 goals and leads Binghamton with 17 points in eight games this season.

Forward Sam Holeczy’s 10 assists rank second in the FPHL and add to Binghamton’s dangerous offensive attack.

In their own zone, Joseph Sheppard has recorded a 5-1-0 record in six starts and has a save percentage of .910.

Wednesday night’s game can be seen on the Black Bears YouTube channel. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.