The Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks are on the road this weekend, as they have a pair of games on tap against the Maryland Black Bears. Danbury will look to build on last week’s 3-2 triumph in Massachusetts over the Generals 3-2, while the Black Bears currently lead the East Division with a 3-0-1 record.
Offense will be a point of focus for Billy McCreary’s squad. Though the Jr. Hat Tricks have allowed the fewest goals in the NAHL thus far (8), they are also tied for the fewest goals scored in their division (9).
“We’ve focused on our offensive possession [in practice],” said McCreary. “Creating off the rush, creating off our end zone as five-man units… I’m really pleased with the work we’ve put in this week.”
Cody Hoban has emerged as a standout on the Jr. Hat Tricks’ forward lines, leading the team in scoring with five assists. Hoban has been named an honorable mention for the NAHL’s Bauer Hockey Stars of the Week twice. Mark D’Agostino took home the top star honors this past week for his two-goal performance at Northeast.
“It’s going to be a gritty game,” commented forward Valentino Passarelli, who has a goal and two assists in three games thus far. “We’re going to have to chip and chase. But I think we’re going to come out with four points here, so we’ll be alright.”
“I think it’s going to be high-energy,” added goaltender Josh Seeley, who earned the first win in franchise history on opening night. “It’s going to be a gritty weekend, but it’s a big four points for us as an organization.”
Maryland, meanwhile, runs a high-octane offensive scheme that has produced 19 goals over four games, but has yielded 16. They are led by Garrett Szydlowski, who leads the team with a goal and six assists, and Reid Leibold, who has notched four goals and two assists on the young season.
“They’re a good skating team,” McCreary praised. “They’ve got speed, they’ve got skill. They’re gonna work, they’re gonna come, they’re gonna push. We gotta be ready to go down there to their building and withstand some pressure. But we’ve got a good skating team too, and we’re not afraid of playing that game with them.”
The Jr. Hat Tricks and Black Bears face-off on Friday at 7:45pm and Saturday at 6:30pm. Live coverage will be provided on HockeyTV.com.