by Josh Starr
BINGHAMTON, NY – The Danbury Hat Tricks (17-9-3, 50 pts) dropped an overtime-thriller to the Binghamton Black Bears (15-13-0, 43 pts) on Saturday night 5-4.
Nicola Levesque and Jonny Ruiz combined for five points in the loss, but the Hat Tricks couldn’t find a way to extend any of their three leads past a single goal. Nikita Ivashkin opened the scoring for Binghamton about halfway through the first.
With one minute remaining in the first, Levesque tied the game at one. Early in the second, Gordy Bonnel netted his 13th of the season to give the Hat Tricks their first lead. Jonny Ruiz assisted on both of the first two Danbury goals.
Bonnel’s tally was the only goal in the second period, but Binghamton came out firing in the third. The Black Bears peppered Hat Tricks goaltender Frankie McClendon with 25 shots in the period, eliminating three separate one-goal deficits.
Levesque gave the Hat Tricks their second of those one-goal leads with his second of the night at 7:51 of the third. Jonny Macdonald and Bonnel each assisted on Levesque’s ninth of the season to put the Hat Tricks ahead 3-2.
After Binghamton tied the game three minutes later, Ruiz (26) scored a brilliant short-handed goal at 15:42 to give Danbury a 4-3 lead. However, less than a minute later, Binghamton connected on the power play to send it to overtime.
In overtime, Gavin Yates made a move past the Danbury defense to give Binghamton the extra point.
The Hat Tricks return to the ice on Thursday, Jan. 27th when they travel to Binghamton once more to face the Black Bears.