LEWISTON — The Maine Nordiques and Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks ended 2021 with a bang.

The final game of the calendar year saw a combined 13 goals, a hat trick, a line brawl and a missed penalty shot in the Hat Tricks’ 9-4 win in front of 311 fans at The Colisee.

“We are fresh off a break, so we had a lot of energy and we were excited to play,” Danbury coach Billy McCreary said. “I think that energy carried over shift after shift.”

Jazz Krivtsov notched a hat trick and Boris Skalos added two goals for Danbury in the win.

“Honestly, it was just my teammates just setting me up,” Krivtsov said. “Just a line, having confidence and playing consistently is probably the biggest thing.”

The Hat Tricks (7-18-3, 17 points) opened the scoring when Ryan Johnson and Boris Skalos entered the offensive zone on a 2-on-1. Nordiques goalie Gus Holt stopped the initial shot from Johnson, but the rebound bounced to Skalos, who put the puck in the back of the net. The goal came 2:35 into the first period.

“(Boris) has a lot of skill in his game, but when he plays with tenacity and gets to the dirty areas, a lot of good things happen to him,” McCreary said.

Maine (9-15-3, 21 points) dominated the remainder of the first period, outshooting Danbury 18-9.

“The first period was pretty close to perfect,” Nordiques coach Matt Pinchevsky said. “I liked almost everything about it, but the other 40 minutes, there was a team that wanted to win more than we did. That’s unfortunate tonight.”

The floodgates opened in the second period, with Robert Hyde scoring nearly three minutes into the period for a 2-0 lead. Then Roberts Andersons stretched the lead to 3-0 with a slap shot from the high slot nearly seven minutes into the period.

Maine started to chip away at the lead in the middle of the period. Ignat Belov picked up a loose puck and put the Nordiques on the board. The assist went to Kadsen Johnson.

Holt (25 saves) made a stop on Hat Tricks forward Joshua Burke and Nordiques defender Matt Connor corralled the rebound before making a pass to forward Theo Thrun in the neutral zone. Thrun skated into the offensive zone on a partial breakaway and ripped a slap shot past Hat Tricks goalie Josh Seeley (46 saves) with nine minutes remaining in the period.

Pinchevsky liked what he saw on the Nordiques’ first two goals.

“Ignat Belov, when he wants to, with his desire, grit and tenacity, he’s a force to be reckoned with,” Pinchevsky said. “I think he subscribed to what he knows what helps his game and helps the team. That gave us our first goal, and what we went over, going to the blue paint. Theo Thrun is such a dynamically offensive player. He’s good on both sides of the puck, but if you give him any time and space in the grade-A (area), he will make you pay for it.”

Burke made his second chance of the period count with an unassisted effort from the right circle at the 13:48 mark to regain a two-goal lead. Krivtsov scored for a 5-2 lead for Danbury 48 seconds later.

Krivtsov said Danbury wanted to bury its chances in the second period.

“I think we were more urgent on pucks,” Krivtsov said. “We noticed the goalie’s weakness: Glove side and low blocker. So, we just took advantage of that. Getting to the net was a big part of that. I think we just built off the first (goal) and we just kept rolling.”

Thrun scored his second goal of the period on a partial breakaway with four-and-half minutes remaining in the second to cut the deficit to 5-3.

Krivstov scored in the final seconds of the second period to extend the Hat Trick lead to 6-3.

The goal-fest continued in the third with Skalos notching his second of the game to make it 7-3 Danbury.

Patrick Schmiedlin beat Seeley through the five-hole to cut the deficit to 7-4.

Former Maine Nordiques Academy player Miles Harrington scored for the Hat Tricks to double the lead to 8-4 at the 5:46 mark of the third period.

Two minutes later, a mini line brawl broke out. Maine Nordiques players involved were Caden Pattison (5-minute major for fighting, 10-minute misconduct), Jack Kurrle (5-minute major for fighting, game misconduct) and Zion Green (Double-minor for roughing and 10-minute misconduct). On the Danbury side, it was Robert Hyde (5-minute major and 10-minute misconduct), Hunter Young (5-minute major for fighting and game misconduct) and Marian Haborak (two minutes for roughing and 10-minute misconduct).

“They initiated the rough and tumble,” Pinchevsky said. “We had guys willing and able to answer the bell. Pattison did a great job in his bout (with Hyde). I hope the kid is all right. But Kurrle ate up (Young) pretty good. It’s just unfortunate Zion Green was not taking the invitation but ended up as the same exact penalty as (Haborak).”

McCreary felt it was the teams trying to get something going for tomorrow’s game.

“It’s two teams that are trying to find their game,” McCreary said. “Two teams playing desperate hockey and sometimes that happens.”

Later in the period, Nordiques forward Aidan Connolly missed a penalty shot.

Krivtsov capped off his hat trick with five minutes remaining in the game.

The Maine Nordiques will look for a split Saturday night at The Colisee at 7 p.m.


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