DANBURY, CT– Danbury scored first and never looked back, earning two points against the first-place Johnstown Tomahawks and keeping their Robertson Cup Playoffs hopes alive.
Danbury opened the scoring shorthanded, with Valentino Passarelli finding Luke Wheeler on a 2-on-1 rush. Jason Kleinhans would extend the lead late in the first, with Jason Kleinhans capping off a three-on-one with terrific stickwork down low.
After a scoreless second period, Mark D’Agostino rifled a powerplay goal past the glove of Johnstown netminder Sam Evola to give the Jr. Hat Tricks a 3-0 lead. Josh Burke would tack on a fourth goal minutes later at the conclusion of another Danbury man advantage, wiring a wrist shot high blocker-side.
Daniel Tkac would net a powerplay goal in the waning moments of the third period to snap Edvard Nordlund’s shutout bid. The Jr. Hat Tricks would respond in turn with an empty-net goal, Wheeler’s second of the game, to cap off a 5-1 victory.
“We were strong defensively and it created offense,” said Wheeler after the win. “Eddie was really strong in net, we stayed defensively out. [We’d like to] just keep doing that.”
“We were playing with each other,” commented Burke. “We were communicating out there, we just fed off each other the whole night.”
The Jr. Hat Tricks and Tomahawks will square off once more tomorrow night at Danbury Arena for the second leg of a weekend tripleheader. Live coverage will be featured on HockeyTV at 7pm. Tickets are available by clicking here.