by Josh Starr
WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The Danbury Hat Tricks (15-6-2, 43 pts) came from behind to beat the Carolina Thunderbirds (11-8-2, 33 pts) 5-4 in overtime on Sunday.
In Sunday’s game, the Hat Tricks scored first for the first time in the series against Carolina on Tim Perks’ third goal in as many games.
Cullen Bonnel and Dustin Jesseau assisted on the goal, but Danbury failed to seize the momentum from the game’s opening goal.
Carolina answered with a short-handed goal three minutes later. Jacob Schnapp’s short-handed tally was the first of three-straight for Carolina, a stretch that ended at 12:18 of the second.
The Hat Tricks fought back with a Cory Anderson power-play tally at 5:47 of the third, but Carolina had an answer once again.
At 13:26, Carolina extended its lead back to two. This time, Danbury responded with Cullen Bonnel’s first-career goal.
With an empty-net, Jonny Ruiz capitalized on a pass in the slot from Steve Brown and the Hat Tricks tied the game with 20 seconds left in regulation.
“It was a hard-fought game by our guys,” said head coach Dave MacIsaac. “We did a great job keeping our intensity when we were down and working our way back.”
In overtime, it was Dustin Jesseau who rifled a wrist shot past Carolina goaltender Evan Morrison to earn the extra point for the Hat Tricks.
Sunday’s win was the first for the Hat Tricks on their five-game road trip. They will now wait 10 days before their next game when they host Watertown on Jan. 13.