by Josh Starr
DANBURY, CT – Led by two goals from rookie forward Tobias Odjick and 36 saves from Pete Di Salvo, the Danbury Hat Tricks defeated the Binghamton Black Bears, 5-3, in a decisive Game 3 on Wednesday night.
Danbury came out of the gates with three first-period goals to take a commanding 3-1 lead into the second period. Steve Mele started the scoring with his fourth of the playoffs at 4:31 of the first.
Odjick scored his first of the night at 10:54 before Jonny Ruiz scored his third of the series, bringing the Danbury lead to 3-0 with 5:38 left in the first.
Tyson Kirkby responded with a power-play goal for Binghamton at the end of the first and the Hat Tricks led by two after one period.
The lone goal of the second period came from Odjick, his third in two games this series. His second of the night made it a 4-1 Danbury lead, but Corey Sherman scored for Binghamton 43 seconds into the third to make it a two-goal game again.
On a power play with 3:51 left in regulation, Tyler Gjurich scored his fourth goal of the series to draw the Black Bears within one.
A late flurry by Binghamton was held off by Danbury and Di Salvo’s 16 third-period saves.
Tom Mele scored his first of the playoffs into an empty net with seven seconds left and Danbury held on for a 5-3 victory in Game 3 of the FPHL Quarterfinals.
The Hat Tricks move on to play the Columbus River Dragons in the Semifinals and will host Game 1 on Friday night at Danbury Ice Arena.
Puck drop is schedule for 7:30 p.m. and tickets are available at danburyhattricks.com
. Tickets for Game 1 will be listed as playoff Game C when purchasing tickets. The game will also be available on Hat Tricks YouTube.