The Norwich Sea Captains fell to the Danbury Jr Hat Tricks 2-1 in a penalty filled affair Saturday evening, November 13 in North American 3 Hockey League action at Danbury Arena. Norwich played a solid team game and created a good number of quality scoring chances, but Danbury capitalized on two critical errors to earn the win. Brendan Pellerito was very good in net making 29 saves in the loss.
The Sea Captains power play has been good lately and a 5 on 3 opportunity late in the first period was exactly what they needed to gain a 1-0 lead. Tim Hayden and Sean Loftus played catch in the neutral zone on a regroup before Hayden knifed into the zone and made a backward bank pass to Ethan Ranger. Norwich’s leading scorer made no mistake as he took two hard steps off the wall and hammered a slap shot past Brennan Churchill in the Danbury net 17:01 into the game. Nikita Kovalev gathered a turnover in the Norwich zone and ripped the puck home to tie the game 13:32 into the second period.
The game remained knotted with both teams killing off the opposition’s power plays well until Elijah Devereaux scored a nifty goal with only 4:14 left in the game. He tucked a wraparound goal in on the far post , beating Pellerito to the bar, after dancing around the Norwich center off a faceoff. Norwich pushed to net the equalizer, but could not solve Churchill again.
Head coach Kevin Cunningham was pleased with his team’s effort, but not satisfied with the result. He said, “Overall, we played a pretty solid game. I thought Pellerito was good and he made some key stops for us. We played with some intensity and battled tonight. Their goals were good plays made by good players who capitalized on our mistakes. We have to limit, or better yet, eliminate the mistakes that we make that make the game easier for our opponents.”