by Josh Starr

DANBURY, CT – The Danbury Hat Tricks (19-9-3, 56 pts) won their second in a row on Friday night, beating the Carolina Thunderbirds (16-12-3, 48 pts) 6-4 at home.

The Hat Tricks never trailed on their way to their third win in four games. Danbury has points in four straight games and has surged back into second place in the FPHL standings.

“We didn’t play great in our own zone to start the game, but I thought we played a lot better as the game went on tonight,” said head coach Dave MacIsaac. “We have to be ready to go tomorrow.”

Danbury started the scoring six minutes in when Jonny Ruiz scored his 28th of the season from Tom Mele and Dmitry Kuznetsov.

Mele got a goal of his own just about five minutes later as Kuznetsov recorded his second assist of the night.
The first period ended with a total of five goals and a 3-2 lead for the Hat Tricks as Adamo Asselin netted his first for the Hat Tricks with 2:13 left in the first.

After Carolina scored two-straight, Ruiz took matters into his own hands. The Hat Tricks captain muscled his way on a breakaway and scored over Carolina goaltender Chris Paulin to give the Hat Tricks a 4-3 lead with 8:54 left in the second. Ruiz now has a career-high 29 goals and 50 points.

That lead stood in tact through a penalty kill with under 10 left in regulation, when Cory Anderson worked a short-handed breakaway. Anderson drew a penalty shot on the play and converted to extend the Hat Tricks’ lead to two goals.

Carolina’s Gus Ford brought the Thunderbirds within one with 14 seconds left, but Tom Mele scored his second of the night in an empty net seconds later to ice the game.

The two teams face off again on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Danbury Arena. Get tickets by clicking here. The game can also be seen on Hat Tricks YouTube.