DANBURY, CT– The Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks needed a regulation win and got one…with 0.9 seconds remaining.
Adam Shuchart banged home the game-winner in the final moments of the third period to steal a 3-2 victory from the Maryland Black Bears. The Jr. Hat Tricks improve to 17-23-3 on the season, 15 points behind Maryland for the final playoff spot with 11 games remaining (six more than the Black Bears).
Alexi Van Houtte-Cachero opened the scoring for Danbury, wiring a wrist shot past rookie netminder Tristan Mecenas halfway through the first period. Mark D’Agostino would bury his own rebound in the final minute of the opening frame to give the Jr. Hat Tricks a 2-0 lead heading into the intermission.
Maryland came roaring back in the second, as Luke Mountain potted a breakaway goal early in the period to get the Black Bears on the board. Grady Friedman would sneak one past Danbury netminder Edvard Nordlund to bring the game back to even minutes later.
The score would remain deadlocked through the second and deep into the third, as shots on goal came at a premium in a physical battle. With the clock ticking down, Alex Duncan chased a bouncing puck behind the Maryland net and powered his way to the crease where Adam Shuchart was waiting to net the deciding goal.
“I saw the clock ticking down, so I just kinda crept in looking for a soft area,” explained Shuchart of his game-winner. “It was kind of a read-and-react play, and I was lucky enough the puck found me there.”
Edvard Nordlund stopped 18 of 20 in the win, earning his team-leading eighth victory of the season.
“We played better than we had,” said Nordlund of the win, snapping a six-game skid for the team. “I think I can do better. I think we’re just getting started for our playoff push. We gotta win a lot of games, and I think this was a good start.”
“Defending is one of our staples as a hockey team,” Shuchart added. “We’re gonna try to carry this momentum and try to make a playoff push.”
The Jr. Hat Tricks host the Johnstown Tomahawks this weekend for a triple-header at Danbury Arena. Tickets are available by clicking here.