CAROLINA THUNDERBIRDS at DANBURY HAT TRICKS
HAT TRICKS DEFEAT THUNDERBIRDS 6-2, TO EXTEND SERIES
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.
Hussey stopped 27 of 32 shots in the Carolina net.
Carolina leads the FPHL Championship Series two games to one.
DANBURY SAVES SEASON, BESTS CAROLINA 6-2
by Brett Wiseman
Danbury, CT - A frustrating night for the Carolina Thunderbirds ended in a 6-2 defeat at the hands of the Danbury Hat Tricks in Game 3 of the Commissioner's Cup Final.
Despite big saves from Greg Hussey and spectacular efforts all around, Daniel McKitrick's 2 goals proved to be a huge difference in the outcome.
Both of Carolina's goals came in the first two periods, both from defensemen, and both during 4-on-4 play.
Tucker Firth opened the scoring when he finished off a wrist shot in the early going of the first. After Danbury tied the game, a spectacular individual effort by Joe Kennedy gave Carolina a 2-1 lead.
Danbury answered with five unanswered goals, and Carolina hit three goal posts in the game to boot.
Game 4 will be tomorrow night at 7:00.