Two weeks ago Motor City fans were treated with an exciting overtime game with a happy ending. On Friday night, Danbury made sure the ending was different at Big Boy Arena.
After The Rockers (6-3-2) drew a tripping call midway through the overtime period, the Hat Tricks used open ice to get a game winning power play goal for a 3-2 win.
It was no surprise that the league leader in game winning goals, Jonny Ruiz, put his stamp on game when it mattered most. With 1:09 left in the period, Kyle Gonzalez kept the puck inside the offensive zone. Gonzalez pushed it ahead to Dmitry Kuznetsov.
Kuznetsov offered a one-timer to Ruiz at the far side circle, and the veteran forward blasted the puck for the win.
After nothing was settled in the first period, the Hat Tricks took the first lead of the game in the second period on the power play.
Evan Lugo pushed the puck ahead through the neutral zone to Brendan Dowler, who carried the puck into the offensive zone. Dowler rode the far-side wall and fired a hard angle shot that Trevor Babin tipped with his stick, but couldn’t stop for a 1-0 lead and his first goal of the season
Fourteen seconds later, Motor City evened the score at 1-1 on a goal scored by Scott Coash, who fired the puck from the high slot past Brian Wilson on the high stick side.
Danbury was able to retake the lead early in the third period on a shot offered by Dowler from the point. Ruiz was able to offer a deflection for a 2-1 lead.
The lead held for 18 minutes before Motor City was able to tie the score with 41 seconds left in the period.
Babin was pulled and the Rockers had an extra attacker in Ross Bartlett. The puck was fired by Ian White from the point into a crowd in front of the net. Bartlett was able to crash the net, find the puck among the throng of players, to put away a back-handed puck for a 2-2 tie.
Motor City and Danbury will play again on Saturday night at 7:00 pm at Big Boy Arena before the Rocker host Watertown on Wednesday night.