Jay's 500th Point Not Enough in Danbury

The Port Huron Prowlers’ struggles at Danbury Ice Arena continue with a 4-3 loss to the Danbury Hat Tricks on March 2. It’s the 11th-straight loss in Danbury for the Prowlers.

“We had a very bad start to tonight’s game,” said Prowlers assistant coach Chris Paulin. “There’s definitely some good things, I thought the Graham-Freeborn-Fetterly line was dominant again. I think we need more from a lot of guys.”

The Hat Tricks scored first in the opening period as Josh Labelle converted a two-on-one pass from Connor Woolley. Jonny Ruiz doubled the advantage on a rush in the second with a shot top shelf.

Later in the period, Port Huron got a power play and Alex Johnson sent a shot that Dalton Jay deflected home to cut the lead in half. The goal was Jay’s 500th point in the FPHL and he became the third player in league history to reach that mark.

“Dalton Jay has had an amazing career,” Paulin said. “I joked that he owes me a thank you card for all the points he had against me throughout his career. We’re very happy for him, super proud of him.”

In the final minute of the period, Labelle had trouble with the puck at the Prowlers blue line and Liam Freeborn took it the other direction and scored five-hole on Connor McCollum to knot the game at two.

Danbury restored the two-goal lead in the third thanks to Jacob Ratcliffe following up a chance and Labelle firing a shot that deflected off a Prowler and in. 

Just over a minute after Labelle made it 4-2, Tucker Scantlebury drove the Danbury net and got a shot off that left a rebound that Evan Foley cleaned up to pull his team within one. Unlike the night before, Port Huron couldn’t find a late tying tally and the Hat Tricks escaped with the win.

“It’s playoff hockey,” Paulin said. “It’s always a one-goal game, tight-fought games and that’s how it’s going to be throughout. The days of cruising around and you win some, you lose some are done. This is going to be very difficult hockey down the stretch. I think we’re up for it but we can’t start games like this. I think we have too many passengers to be honest.”

Freeborn finished with a goal and an assist for the Prowlers while Makar Sokolov made 28 saves.

Labelle and Ratcliffe led the way for Danbury with three points each while McCollum stopped 34 shots.

The series wraps up on Sunday, March 3 with a 3 P.M. puck drop scheduled in Danbury. The game will be live on the PHP Network YouTube channel.

Photo courtesy of Delta Imaging