After a disappointing weekend in Massachusetts, the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks are back on home ice looking for redemption against the Northeast Generals. Let’s take a look at the keys to the weekend series:
Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks – 34 games, 15-17-2 (32 points, 6th in East Division)
Northeast Generals – 46 games, 16-26-4 (36 points, 5th in East Division)
Tale of the Tape
Danbury has now lost three straight decisions in regulation against the Generals this season after starting the year 4-0-1 against Northeast. The Jr. Hat Tricks were outdone by a combined score of 13-4 last weekend. Northeast has been playing terrific hockey of late, winning four of their last five games.
The Jr. Hat Tricks will need to reassert themselves against the Generals to get back in the hunt for the Robertson Cup Playoffs. Maryland has extended its lead to seven points, and while the Generals are just three points back, they have played five more games than the Black Bears. Without worrying about games in hand, scheduling adjustments, etc., there’s a simple way to ensure a spot in the Robertson Cup Playoffs: win.
The powerplay is a particular area of focus for Danbury. While the Jr. Hat Tricks boast the second-best home powerplay in the league at 30.4%, they were 1-for-13 last weekend while allowing two shorthanded goals in Friday’s contest. Allowing goals while on the man advantage has been a rarity for Danbury- they had surrendered just one heading into last weekend. Tightening things up on special teams is a must.
Players to Watch
Porter Schachle, F (DHT)- Schachle, a University of Vermont commit, was absent from last weekend’s set with the Generals. His offensive prowess was sorely missed. Schachle is a terrific shot generator and a vocal presence on the ice. Getting him back on the ice will be a major boon for the Jr. Hat Tricks, especially given his on-ice chemistry with Levi Stauber and Mark D’Agostino.
Hank McDonough, D (DHT)- McDonough has been playing some of his best hockey of the season in the last few weeks, getting tough defensive minutes alongside Hunter McCurdy. He’s been particularly active along the boards, winning key battles through strength and proper positioning. A big hit along the boards in his own zone Friday night opened up space for a 3-on-2 rush that resulted in a Mark D’Agostino goal, for which McDonough was credited with a secondary helper. McDonough and McCurdy will be tasked once more with shutting down the Gens’ top line.
Ricky Boysen, F (NEG)- Boysen, a three-year NAHL veteran, scored three goals and added an assist in last weekend’s sweep of Danbury. Boysen is fifth on his team with 22 points this season, with seven of those points coming in his last seven games. He also potted an overtime winner against the Jr. Hat Tricks back on February 8th at Danbury Arena.
How to watch
Tickets are available in a limited quantity by clicking here. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday night. Live streaming will be featured on HockeyTV. Follow @JrHatTricksNAHL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for important updates on the team.
Photo credit: Team Shred Photography