The Norwich Sea Captains have had a tough patch of bad luck recently fueled in large part by struggles in the third period. Unfortunately, that theme struck again on Friday afternoon, November 19 when the Sea Captains allowed three third period goals in 3:10 of action to turn a 2-1 lead into a 4-2 deficit against the Danbury Jr Hat Tricks at the Rose Garden Ice Arena. Norwich scored late to make the closing moments tense, but Danbury skated away with the 4-3 victory in North American 3 Hockey League play.
After a scoreless first period, the Norwich power play continued its recent success when Sean Loftus hammered a turnover through the wickets of Danbury netminder Brennan Churchill :44 into the second period. Danbury knotted the game a few shifts later when Eryk Francher snuck in from his point position and got a puck past Brendan Pellerito in the Norwich cage at the 3:04 mark. But, the Sea Captains were able to recapture the lead late in the period when Troy Harwell chipped the puck by the opposing center on an offensive zone draw and snapped the puck into the upper corner of the net to put his team up 2-1 with only :44 left.
The score remained 2-1 until Nikita Kovalev’s first goal at the 7:48 mark of the third period knotted the game. A second goal from Kovalev and another from Elijah Devereaux turned the game quickly and staked the visitors to a 4-2 lead. Ethan Ranger one-timed a Harwell pass between Churchill’s legs with :33 left in the third to make things tight at the end of the game, but the Sea Captains were not able to find the equalizer with the extra attacker and fell 4-3.
A frustrated Kevin Cunningham, Norwich’s head coach said, “We were felled today by our lack of attention to detail. Three of the four Danbury goals were, at least in part, the result of poor systems play from us, and we squandered some excellent scoring chances of our own with poor shot selection. Combined, that created a two to three goal swing that proved to be the difference today. We made mistakes and Danbury’s best players made us pay. Plain and simple.”
The Sea Captains return to action on Sunday, November 21 when they travel to Holyoke, MA to take on the Bay State Bobcats at 12:30 PM. Norwich’s next home game is Tuesday afternoon when they host the NA3HL East Division leading Northeast Generals at 12 PM. You can get tickets for that game and the rest of the remaining home schedule HERE. Fans can also purchase tickets for our Meet the Team event at the Harp and Dragon Pub in downtown Norwich on Friday, December 10 HERE.