DANBURY HAT TRICKS at WATERTOWN WOLVES
Wolves Snap Losing Streak Down Hat Tricks, 7-2
by Jeff Barrett
Watertown, NY - The sixth meeting of the season between these two teams took place this Friday evening in the Watertown Municipal Arena.
The Wolves tried to get back on track after dropping their last four outings, with Danbury coming in with a two game win streak. So far this season, the Hat Tricks have won three of the previous five games.
The Hat Tricks would strike first when Connor Woolley would gather a rebound in front of the Watertown goal, and slip it past Wolves starter Josh Rosenzweig at 6:27 of the period, giving Danbury the early 1-0 lead.
At the 14:58 mark, Watertown's Josh Tomasi was Johnny on the spot when a rebound off Danbury's starting netminder came squirting out to the left side, and he was able to slap it home into a wide open net tying the game at one goal each.
Period one ended tied with that score. Danbury outshot Watertown 17 to 12 in the first. The Hat Tricks were 0 for 2 on the power play while the Wolves went 0 for 1.
Just 1:19 into the second period Watertown's Noah Doyle netted his first pro goal, giving the Wolves a 2-1 lead when he knifed a shot over the shoulder of McCollum, giving Watertown their first lead of the night 2-1. Assists on the goal went to Michael Mercurio and Trevor Lord.
At the 3:53 mark, the Wolves Marc Bottero lifted a nasty wrist shot past McCollum extending the Wolves lead to 3-1, assisted by Ivan Gamzatov and igniting the home crowd.
Tate Leeson would take a stretch pass from Trevor Lord and get behind the Danbury defense to go one on one with the Danbury netminder, and made a nifty move to beat McCollum lengthening the Wolves lead to 4-1.
Watertown controlled the offensive tempo in the second, outshooting Danbury 21 to 8, making the total shots after 40 minutes 33 to 25 in favor of the Wolves.
Period number three found Watertown captain, defenseman Dustin Henning scoring his first goal of the year, after Aleksandr Gamzatov fought through a couple of checks and slid the puck to Henning who lifted the shot over the blocker of McCollum making the score 5-1 Watertown.
Watertown continued the offensive outpouring at the 6:22 mark of the third when Chiwetin Blacksmith lifted a shot to the top of the cage, assisted by Tate Leeson and Carter Thornton, extending the lead to 6-1.
Tate Leeson added his second goal of the night at 17:19 assisted by William Godbout when they tag teamed once again to get behind the Hat Tricks defense adding to Watertow's lead 7-1.
Danbury's Jacob Ratcliffe was able to shorten Watertown's lead to 7-2 on a power play goal at 19:19 with assists going to newly signed Josh LaBelle and Nick DiNicola, but it was too late to give the Hat Tricks any hope of a comeback.
Danbury would go on to out shoot Watertown 17 to 7 in the third and 42 to 40 for the game in the loss.
The Wolves will host the Elmira River Sharks on Saturday evening, Watertown's final game of 2023. Danbury will head home for the first game of a home and home series with the Binghamton Black Bears to end 2023.
HAT TRICKS THUMPED IN WATERTOWN FRIDAY, WIN STREAK HALTED AT TWO
by Doug Lattuca
Watertown, NY - The Hat Tricks’ winning streak stopped at two Friday night in a 7-2 loss to the Wolves in Watertown. After the Hat Tricks opened the scoring in the first, the Wolves netted six unanswered goals to pull away. It is the Hat Tricks’ fifth straight defeat on the road.
Not only did the Hat Tricks struggle defensively, but they had no answer for Watertown netminder Josh Rosenzweig who made 40 saves in the win.
At 6:27 of the first period, the Hat Tricks got on the board. Forward Connor Woolley stole the puck from defenseman Dustin Henning, and slipped one past Rosenzweig. Since rejoining the Hat Tricks on Dec. 22 the forward has goals in back-to-back games. Watertown responded late into the period, after forward Joshua Tomasi sent a rebound shot into the back of the net knotting the game up at one a piece.
Watertown commanded the second period of play scoring three straight goals. At 1:19, defenseman Noah Doyle put a wrister from the slot behind Hat Tricks’ goaltender Conor McCollum for his first professional goal. Moments later, forward Marc Bottero directed a shot under the bar for his sixth of the season. At the halfway point of the period, forward Tate Leeson received a breakaway pass from d-man Trevor Lord and snuck one in from the short side.
Henning continued Watertown’s offensive dominance when the d-man backhanded the puck into the goal for his first of the season. Not long after, forward Chiwetin Blacksmith fired the puck from the far side to extend the lead to five. Watertown was not done yet. At 17:19, Leeson slid the puck through McCollum’s five hole for his second goal of the night.
With time winding down, the Hat Tricks added a garbage time tally to make the score 7-2.
The Hat Tricks return home Saturday, Dec. 30 for their final home game of 2023. They host the Binghamton Black Bears with puck drop at 7:00 pm.