The Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks are finally ready to get back to action after a brief interruption to their schedule. With three postponed games in the rearview mirror, the team now looks head to a home matchup with the Northeast Generals on Thursday at 1 p.m. to get back on track.
Tale of the tape
The Jr. Hat Tricks and Generals have met just once on the young season, with Danbury coming out on top 3-2. Familiar faces spurred the Hat Tricks onto victory; Mark D’Agostino netted a pair of goals and Cody Hoban registered a pair of assists. Edvard Nordlund stopped 23 of 25 to earn his first win of the season.
Danbury currently sits in third place in the East Division with a 4-1-0 record. A win would propel them into second. Northeast, meanwhile, sits in last place in the East at 2-5-0. Both teams have scored 16 goals on the season, the differences being 1) number of games played and 2) the goals-against marker. Danbury has only allowed 12 goals (2.40/game) while Northeast has surrendered 26 (3.71/game). If the Generals are to best the Jr. Hat Tricks, they’ll need to shore up their defense.
Players to watch
When it comes to defense, Northeast will specifically have to focus on their special teams. Both of the Generals’ scores in their first encounter with the Jr. Hat Tricks came on the powerplay, but the game-winner for Danbury also came on the man advantage.
Danbury and Northeast sit at #1 and #2 in the powerplay rankings in the division at 21.1% and 20.0% efficiency, respectively. The Generals have killed off 25 of 27 penalties against thus far (92.6%) while the Jr. Hat Tricks have killed 22 of 25 (88%).
While D’Agostino and Hoban are clear powerplay threats for the Hat Tricks, Nolan Barrett will also be a key factor for the team going forward. Head coach Billy McCreary has emphasized trusting shots from the perimeter while on the attack, and there’s perhaps no better shooter on the blueline than Barrett. Both of his goals on the season have come on the man advantage.
Meanwhile for Northeast, Liam McCanney will be relied on to lead the way. McCanney is tied for the team lead in points with six, and is one of the best shot generators on the team. McCanney is a heady player in his third NAHL season, well on his way to building off a 15-goal campaign last year.
Where to watch
Photo credit: Jim Harding.