by Chris Lynch
Danbury, CT - The Danbury Hat Tricks and Binghamton Black Bears wrote a memorable story in the 2022 FPHL Playoffs’ Opening Round. Most notably, game two of the series went to overtime with the Hat Tricks emerging with a 5-4 victory. Saturday night saw a similar game with the exact same score result.
Danbury jumped off the blocks fast for the fourth game in a row, with Evan Lugo recording a shorthanded goal 3:54 into the game. Binghamton responded quickly. On the same power play, Geno DeAngelo notched the equalizer to even the game at one goal apiece. The Hat Tricks landed one more goal in the first courtesy of the hottest goal and point scorer in the league. Dustin Jesseau took a feed from Brendan Dowler to get behind the defense and score his 6th goal of the season to put the Hat Tricks up 2-1. Not to be out done, Binghamton evened the score in the last minute of the frame off a Mathieu Boislard shot.
Danbury restored their lead with two goals in the second period. Tobias Odjick went first, tipping in a Dowler shot at the 6:30 mark. Steven Leonard went, taking a feed from Odjick to make the score 4-2. Binghamton cut the lead in half at the 16:34 mark of the frame. Jesse Anderson fired a hard angle shot that trickled through Brian Wilson ahead of the intermission.
The Black Bears controlled much of the feel of the third period. The shots were only 10-9 in their favor, but Gary Gill’s unit managed enough chances to tie the game in the late minutes. Nikita Ivoshkin scored off a nifty drive and passing set up from Cameron Yarwood. Danbury almost had the last laugh in regulation. Brendan Sheehan fired a spinorama to Jonny Ruiz who roofed the puck and sent the crowd at the Danbury Arena into a frenzy, only for the officials to wave it off as the puck crossed the goal line microseconds after the final buzzer.
So Danbury looked to win the game in overtime instead, and were aided by a four minute double minor taken by Yarwood. Dustin Jesseau took the puck from neutral territory, cut through the defense, and backhanded the puck into the net to win the night for the Hat Tricks 5-4.
“He’s a skilled offensive player,” Danbury Coach Billy McCreary said of Jesseau, the FPHL’s leading scorer. “You can tell that his conditioning is there and he’s a strong skater. He makes plays that few others can make.”
Brian Wilson stopped 36 of 40 shots on net for the Hat Tricks. Riley McVeigh stopped 30 of 35 shots in the Binghamton net.
The Black Bears (3-2-1) hit the road for two games against the Elmira Mammoth next weekend.
The Hat Tricks (4-0-0) make their first road trip of the season, heading down to Winston-Salem to play the Carolina Thunderbirds for two games next weekend.