DANBURY, CT– The Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks’ comeback effort fell just short Saturday afternoon, as a dramatic overtime contest finished 3-2 in favor of the Johnstown Tomahawks at Danbury Arena.
Wil Margel opened the scoring for Johnstown, netting a breakaway goal to give the Tomahawks an early lead. Johnstown would find the back of the net again three minutes into the second period with John Getlatt banging home a rebound after a frantic scramble in front of the Danbury net.
The action would go back and forth until the 14:51 mark in the second period when Danbury’s Jason Kleinhans halved the lead with a powerplay goal off a rebound. The goal, his second, snapped a 16-game drought for Kleinhans.
Robert Hyde evened the score minutes later with his third goal of the season, deflecting a Gabe Dombrowski shot into the top right corner of the Johnstown net. The goal sparked life in the Jr. Hat Tricks, as the team applied tremendous pressure heading into the final frame.
A scoreless third period led to overtime. Danbury threatened early with a Jake Hewitt breakaway that was dramatically saved by Johnstown netminder Josh Graziano. Tomahawks’ defender Ryan Poorman eventually potted the game-winner, flicking a backhander past Danbury goaltender Geno Pichora after an interception from teammate Jay Ahearn to seal the weekend sweep.
Pichora stopped 34 of 37 in the loss.
“We played to our identity today, and we certainly didn’t do that yesterday,” commented head coach Billy McCreary. “We got better today, and that’s all we ask of our guys.”
The Jr. Hat Tricks now turn their attention to next Wednesday, as they host the New Jersey Titans in a push for the Robertson Cup Playoffs. The Tricks will then venture up to Maine to battle the Nordiques for a three-game set beginning on Friday.
“Our goal is to play for the Robertson Cup,” McCreary added. “That’s been the goal since day one … The road isn’t gonna get any easier, but these guys aren’t shy of adversity. They embrace it, they love it. They find a way to get through it together.”
Tickets for Wednesday’s home game are available by clicking here. Live streaming will be available on HockeyTV.
By Johnny Alexandre