The Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks earned their first win of the NA3HL season in style, rallying from down three goals against the Northeast Generals to steal a 7-6 victory on home ice.
The Generals opened the scoring late in the first period as Matthew Coe potted his first goal of the season. Though the Jr. Hat Tricks would answer quickly with a goal of their own, Tyler Kaminski would strike with 30 seconds remaining in the period to give Northeast a 2-1 lead after one.
Jr. Hat Tricks captain Cole Madzey would knot the score 45 seconds into the second period. Coe would add his second of the game, but Danbury once more responded with their third tying goal of the game, this time from Brandon Cope.
The Generals began to pull away in the second period, netting three consecutive goals- two from Drew Schemmel, one from Jacob Kosinski. With four minutes remaining in the second period, Kevin Cunningham’s Danbury squad went to work.
Nicholas Rogers would kick off the comeback with his second tally of the game off a terrific backdoor feed from Cope. Trailing by two entering the third period, Cope would bring the Jr. Hat Tricks within one just 1:35 in. Danbury finally pulled even once more when Kolby Donovan tacked on the game-tying goal, breathing new life into the white-and-orange.
With time ticking down in the third period, returning forward Dylan Webber, who had two game-winning goals for the team last year, registered his first of the season with less than two minutes left in regulation.
When asked about the dramatic victory, Webber was quick to deflect the glory onto his younger teammates.
“I really couldn’t be prouder of the younger guys on this team,” Webber said. “Shoutout to [goaltender] Landon Palmer [for his] first junior hockey win…same thing, shoutout Nick Rogers, two goals in his second ever junior hockey game.”
WATCH: Highlights from Sunday’s 7-6 win over Northeast
“The first period, I didn’t do that great,” Palmer commented. “But the boys really helped me out in the locker room, they picked me up and got better every period, so it was a good win.”
Though the rookies were invaluable to the effort, with Palmer stopping 29 shots in the contest, Danbury’s third period was ultimately led by three seasoned vets in Cope, Donovan and Webber.
“I’m not gonna lie, morals were kind of down on the bench, we just had to play for pride,” Webber explained. “And one after another, we were playing for a win instead of pride…Kolby Donovan, he scored one shift then blocked two shots, and he came back to the bench with such intensity. It was infectious.”
The Jr. Hat Tricks are back in action Thursday afternoon at 1:30pm as they host the New Jersey Titans.