The Norwich Sea Captains dropped a back and forth affair to the Danbury Jr Hat Tricks 5-4 in overtime at the RoseGarden Ice Arena in North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) action on Wednesday afternoon, December 14. Brian Essing scored twice and added an assist while both Tim Hayden and Sean Loftus recorded a goal and an assist apiece. Andrew Yocum took the overtime loss in the Sea Captains cage.
Danbury netted a power play goal 8:07 into play to take a 1-0 lead before Essing scored twice in 22 seconds to put Norwich in front 2-1. The first goal was scored off the rebound of a Jacob Begich shot 13:18 into play. Hayden was credited with the second assist on the first goal. The second goal was also a rebound; this time Jack Kinahan and Loftus earned the helpers. Norwich took the 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
The Sea Captains controlled the flow of play for most of the second period, but the Jr Hat Tricks capitalized on a Norwich turnover to knot the game 2-2 at 12:13 mark of the second period. Hayden’s power play goal with 3:09 remaining in the middle stanza put the home side up 3-2. Sava Makarenko and Essing assisted on the marker.
Danbury re-tied the game 7:58 into the third period before Loftus struck for Norwich on the power play with 9:00 left in the period. His point shot found the net through a great net front screen from Nicolas Piluso while Angelo Donzella and Erik Masengill earned assists. The Sea Captains held the 4-3 lead until the last minute of regulation when Danbury scored a power play goal to tie the game and send it to overtime where the visitors were able to net the winning goal, also in the last minute of the extra session, to seal the victory and take the extra point.
“Today was a tough loss to swallow. For the second game in a row against Danbury we did enough to earn a win on most nights, but not in that game. Our power play was a highlight today. We made a couple of adjustments that paid off right away, but giving up two last minute goals ultimately cost us the chance to get the win. We are looking forward to our trip to Minnesota this weekend to play in the NA3HL Showcase against some of the top teams in the league,” said Head Coach Kevin Cunningham.