Danbury, CT- A gritty, physical effort saw the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks to a victory in the NAHL Season opener over the Johnstown Tomahawks by a final score of 2-1.
All three of the goals scored came in the opening 5:49 of the second period. Johnston went first. David Matousek punched home a rebound off a Gabriel Lunn shot to open the scoring 1:28 into the stanza. Lunn’s shot was aided by an unusual bounce off the corner boards into prime scoring position that Johnstown capitalized well on. Danbury’s Captain answered at the 5:04 mark. Luka Sukovic (’03) and Wyatt Stefan (’05) created a turnover and passing sequence ending in Sukovic banging home the first Hat Trick goal of the season. Forty-five seconds later, future Denver Pioneer Peter Lajoy banged home the second goal of the game and what would ultimately be the game’s winning tally. Nick Rogers (’02) and Oto Themier (’03) recorded assists on the Lajoy’s tally.
Danbury missed out on a first period goal when Wyatt Stefan rang the puck off the crossbar.
Johnstown outshot Danbury in all three periods, 13-8 in the first, 16-13 in the second, and 13-9 in the third. Adam Johnson took the net and stopped 41 of 42 shots on the evening for his first win of the season. Matt O’Donnell stopped 28 of 30 shots in the Tomahawk net.
The teams combined for eleven penalties and 44 combined penalty minutes. All of which came in the first two periods. No penalties came down in the third period. Ryan Vellucci and Liam Varmecky dropped the mitts for a fight during the second period. On the combined five power play opportunities, the teams’ penalty kill went 5-5.
Matt Voity earns his first win as bench boss of the NAHL edition of the Hat Tricks.
Danbury and Johnstown meet for game two of the two game series on Saturday night at 7PM ET. Hockey TV will carry the broadcast.