by Doug Lattuca

Danbury, CT - Daniel McKitrick’s game-winner at 2:47 of overtime was the difference in a 5-4 Hat Tricks victory over the Black Bears on Alumni Night in Danbury. The Hat Tricks have won seven of the last nine and five of the first seven during their nine-game homestand.

The Hat Tricks started the scoring less than three minutes into the first period. Forward Jonny Ruiz snapped the puck through the pad of Binghamton’s netminder Nolan Egbert to secure an early lead. But just 21 seconds later, Binghamton struck back with a tap-in goal from Jesse Anderson off a pass from Gavin Yates. The Black Bears snatched their first lead of the night with a nearly identical goal at 11:27. Anderson edged the puck inside the left post to push the Black Bears in front. At 13:10 in the first, forward Michael Falanga tied the score at two on a tap-in goal of his own on a cross-slot feed from Nick DiNicola.

3:56 into the second period, Danbury forward Chase Harwell slung a puck in the slot clanking it off of a Black Bear's skate and into the back of the net to give the Hat Tricks a 3-2 lead. Just shy of two minutes later, Harwell put Danbury up by two after lifting the puck under the bar and over the shoulder of Egbert. Binghamton answered at 7:13 when Yates snuck the puck around the leg of a sprawling Conor McCollum to cut the deficit to one. Black Bears forward Jestin Somero tied the game at four with under seven minutes to play in regulation erasing the two-goal deficit. 

Despite Binghamton holding the momentum, Danbury forced overtime and McKitrick found some open ice near the right circle and sniped it past Egbert for the game-winning goal.

McCollum made 33 saves in the win.

The Hat Tricks finish off the weekend on Sunday against Elmira. The puck drops at 3 p.m.


by Brooks Hill

Danbury, CT - The Binghamton Black Bears fell in overtime 5-4 to the Danbury Hat Tricks on Saturday night. Jestin Somero scored late in the third period to make sure the Black Bears secured a point in the standings.  

A high-scoring first period entertained the fans inside the Danbury Ice Arena. Ruiz got the Hat Tricks on the board first on the first shot of the game, a rare occurrence this season in the series matchup. Tyson Kirkby answered back 20 seconds later, tying the game and partially silencing the rowdy crowd. Jesse Anderson picked up his 8th of the season, giving Binghamton their only lead at 2-1. Danbury was able to convert on their second odd-man rush, as Michael Falanga evened the score at 2-2. After one period the score was tied and shots even at 14 apiece.

Danbury became the benefactors of multiple unlucky bounces for Binghamton. Chase Harwell was able to score twice in the middle period, giving the home team a two-goal advantage. Gavin Yates though, was able to slide some momentum back in favor of the visitors, scoring his 16th of the season. Danbury played a better period, but Binghamton only trailed 4-3. 

Neither side committed a penalty in the third penalty, another rare occurrence in the season series. Jestin Somero scored the only goal of the frame late wi th only 6:41 left in regulation time. Binghamton forced OT, but Danbury was the team that skated away with the extra point. Daniel McKitrick outwaited the goalie, who was knocked down by contact. The officials reviewed the play and goal stood. Danbury wins 5-4.

After two games on the road this weekend, the Black Bears return home to Visions Veterans Memorial Arena on Friday, March 15th to take on the Mississippi Seawolves. The contest will mark the first of four-straight games at home for Binghamton. 


Watertown Beats Motor City 3-1

by Ben Szilagy

Fraser, MI - The Playoff Clinching celebration in Motor City will have to wait as the Watertown Wolves beat the Rockers 3-1 on Saturday night.

The Rockers started the game with a lead in the first period at the 7:02 mark.

Rockers defensemen Josh Colten cycled the puck into the near side corner where it was dug out and controlled by TJ Delaney. Delaney fed the puck to the slot and on the stick of Jameson Milam who stepped into a clean shot to the top left corner, stick side for a 1-0 lead and his 11th of the season.

Unlike a night ago the lead wouldn’t hold as Watertown was able to tie the score late in the first period while on a 5-on-3 power play.

Watertown forward Trevor Lord kept the puck in the zone on an attempted clear, and cycled it to Michael Mercurio. The 5-foot-8 forward crashed the net and fired a shot that was turned away by Trevor Babin. As Babin was out of position, Tate Leeson netted his team leading 31st of the season for a 1-1 tie with 1:22 remaining in the period. 

The Wolves took its first lead of the weekend when Trevor Lord cycled the puck to Leeson at center ice that started a 2-on-1 in Watertown’s favor early in the second period.

Leeson carried the puck with Vladislav Pavlov acting as his trailer. At the last moment, Leeson saucered the puck to Pavlov who buried the shot for a 2-1 lead with 15:12 to play in the middle frame and was good for his 10th of the season. 

Motor City tried to tie the score late in the third period and pulled Babin to do so. 

As the Rockers tried to move the puck from the point with 50-seconds remaining but a diving block by Leeson allowed the puck to come on the to stick of Mercurio who then fired it from the neutral zone for an empty net goal and a 3-1 lead with 38 seconds to play.

Motor City won the season series 4-2-1 in seven games, and has the overall series lead at 9-3-2.

Motor City will host the Blue Ridge Bobcats on Sunday at 2:05pm and Watertown will travel up the road to Port Huron on both visiting teams’ get away day before heading home.


 Carolina Handles Baton Rouge, 7-2

Thunderbirds strike early for three in first to blow by Zydeco

by Brendan Reilly

Winston-Salem, NC - After a 5-4 overtime loss to the Columbus River Dragons on Friday night, the Carolina Thunderbirds responded early and often against the Baton Rouge Zydeco, picking up a 7-2 win on Saturday night in Winston-Salem.


Carolina (30-11-2) jumped out of the gates quickly in the 1st period. At the 6:59 mark of the first frame, Dawson Baker snapped a shot through the five-hole of Baton Rouge (10-28-4) netminder Greg Harney to give the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead. Less than two minutes later, Carolina doubled its advantage after Nate Keeley lifted a shot over the shoulder of Harney giving the Thunderbirds a 2-0 advantage. 56 seconds later while on the power play, Roman Kraemer blasted a one-timer past Harney giving the Thunderbirds a 3-0 lead at the end of the 1st period.


In the 2nd, the Thunderbirds found the back of the net for the fourth time, this time with Gus Ford who snapped a shot over the glove of Bailey Stephens for his 31st goal this season, making it 4-0. Baton Rouge did get on the board in the second with Bradley Richardson tapping in his second goal of the year on a 2-on-1 opportunity, but Carolina answered 18 seconds later. Keeley got his second of the night on a shot from the top of the circles building the lead back to four, 5-1, and Carolina coasted into the 2nd intermission with the four-goal advantage.


In the 3rd, both sides traded goals before Baker picked up his second goal of the night and the Thunderbirds rolled to a 7-2 victory, taking the three points on the evening. 


Ford finished the night with four points on the evening good for his 21st multi-point game this season while Baker has now scored at least a goal in each of his last eight games. Mario Cavaliere in his return to the Thunderbirds stopped 28 out of 30 shots to pick up his 15th win on the season.


Carolina and Baton Rouge meet again on Sunday afternoon in Winston-Salem. Puck drop is set for 4:05 p.m. from the Annex. 



by Will Wiegelman

Port Huron, MI - The Blue Ridge Bobcats get their first win over the Port Huron Prowlers 4-2 on March 10 at McMorran Place. The teams finish their short season series with one win apiece.

The scoring started in the first when Egor Dolkart fired a shot through traffic for his first of the year. Later in the period, Austin Fetterly moved in from his position at the point and found Tristan Simm for a back-door tap-in to tie the game. Vladislav Vlasov put the Bobcats back in front after completing a two-on-one rush.

Nikita Ivashkin scored the only goal of the middle frame on a wraparound 1:06 in to make it 3-1 Blue Ridge heading into the third. He struck again on the man advantage a few minutes into the final period to put the game out of reach. Conor Foley got one back but it was too little too late.

Foley finished with a goal and an assist for Port Huron and was the game’s second star while Tucker Tynan made 31 saves.

Ivashkin led all scorers with a three point night, good enough for first star honors. Vlasov added an assist to his goal and Josh Newberg had a pair of helpers.

The Prowlers complete their weekend three-in-three on March 10 at 3:05 P.M. against the Watertown Wolves. Tickets are available at