Motor City Earns Game 1 Win In OT Behind Babin's 61 Save Night

Danbury, CT — Game 1 of the 2023-24 FPHL Playoffs between the Motor City Rockers and Danbury Hat Tricks was an instant classic thanks to incredible goaltending play by Motor City’s Trevor Babin and Danbury’s Connor McCollum.

Both Goaltenders stopped a combined 109 shots throughout the night; Babin stopping a season high 61 shots, and McCollum stopping 48. 

It was the Rockers that came away with a 3-2 overtime win in the final 3:36 of the extra frame to earn a 1-0 series lead in a best of three.

Rockers Forward Lane King held off an icing as he raced Danbury’s Connor Bedard into the offensive zone. King took over the rock behind the net, and fed it to the farside of the ice to Josh Colten who feathered a perfect centering pass to TJ Sneath on the opposite side post for a wide open game winning goal.

Motor City will host Game 2 on Saturday at 7:35pm at Big Boy Arena and Game 3, if necessary, on Sunday at 5:00pm.

Leading up to the overtime period, it was a game of runs as Danbury jumped out to a 2-0 lead through two periods. 

Motor City was able to hold the Hat Trick offense in check as the Rockers killed two power plays throughout the first period, but a rebound goal gave the Hat Tricks the early lead.

Danbury started its attack after Steve Brown slid the puck onto the stick of Chase Harwell in the neutral zone. Harwell walked it deep into the Rocker end and fired a shot for a rebound as he entered the nearside circle. Daniel McKitrick quickly jumped on the rebound and put away the game’s first goal with 3:40 remaining in the period.

Danbury extended its lead midway through the second period when Michael Falanga chipped the puck to Jacob Ratcliffe. Ratcliffe chipped the puck past the blueline and onto the stick of a crashing Jonny Ruiz. Ruiz gathered the puck in between the hashes, and roofed a back-hand for a 2-0 lead. 

The Rockers wouldn’t be shutout, however, earning a goal off a face off draw in the offensive zone two minutes later. 

Sneath won the draw and pushed the puck behind him to Declan Conway. Conway ripped a shot that was deflected by Lane King and went past McCollum to cut into the lead, 2-1, with 8:01 remaining. 

Jonathan Juliano almost came away with a short-handed goal that would have tied the game near the close of the second period but his shot rang off the crossbar with under ten-seconds to play. 

In the third period, the Rockers finished erasing the deficit off the stick of Jost Colten. 

Motor City controlled a rebound in the offensive zone on the stick of Lane King. He slid the puck along the wall to Mike Winn at the point on the nearside. Winn then passed the puck along the blue line to Colten who offered a quick wrister that McCollum didn’t see for a 2-2 game midway through the final frame.