The Jr. Hat Tricks earned their second consecutive 4-2 victory over their rivals the Bay State Bobcats on Friday at Danbury Arena. The hosts trailed twice before two power play goals midway through the second period turned the game in Danbury’s favor. Connor Lefkof and Brandon Cope led the offense with three assists apiece while Nathan Hadley earned his first win in Danbury making 18 saves.
Bay State opened the scoring 9:10 into play as Jake Ruchala snuck a puck past Hadley from the slot. The Jr. Hat Tricks knotted the game when Lefkof made an area pass to Cope that the speedster fired toward the far post. The Bobcat netminder, Zach Roncarati, made the save, but could not control the rebound. Dylan Webber drove that rebound home with :12 remaining in the period.
The guests took the lead again early in the second as Troy Harwell buried a power play goal to make the score 2-1. The Jr. Hat Tricks responded with two power play goals in 1:14 during the middle portion of the period to take the lead. Cole Madzey scored the first when he converted a Lefkof rebound at 9:26 on a well executed four-on-three power play. Cope earned the second assist. Danbury struck again at 10:50 to take the lead in the game as Kyle Madigan jumped on a loose puck off a faceoff a slid the puck through the five-hole to make the score 3-2. Webber assisted with the faceoff win.
A back and forth third period saw Hadley play well to preserve the lead as the one goal margin lasted until the 10:35 mark of the final period. That was when Lefkof caused a turnover in the neutral zone, passed to Cope who attacked the offensive zone and slowed the play down before feeding Wesley Westendorf driving to the net who finished the play to extend the lead to 4-2. Danbury’s solid defensive effort held Bay State off the board the rest of the way.
Lefkof commented, “Every game against Bay State is a battle, and it is a strong rivalry that both teams get up for. Hads played well in net, which was key to our defensive effort today. I think our group showed perseverance today and demonstrated why I am confident we can continue this winning streak of ours and get on a roll.”
“Nathan played a phenomenal game in between the pipes. Our specialty teams were effective during pivotal moments in the game. Our main focus is to continue to be better at the little things so that we can steadily trend upward as the season progresses,” said Associate Coach Brian Allen.