Reyes: Flashing the Leather

Logo for Flashing the Leather column. - Graphic / Spencer Reyes

Hat Tricks end 2022 with All-Out Brawl

On Thursday, April 14, the Danbury Hat Tricks of the Federal Prospects Hockey League (FPHL) were up against the Carolina Thunderbirds towards the end of a well-fought season.

The 34-21-3 Hat Tricks were looking to secure third place in the league and were hosting the 31-23-5 Thunderbirds who were only three games behind Danbury, with each team only having three games left in their season. 

Although Danbury was stepping into Thursday’s matchup with a lot on the line, they were more concerned about the health of their stars including Captain Jonny Ruiz, offensive leader Cory Anderson, top defensemen Steve Brown, goalie Brian Wilson, and Aaron Atwell.

The remaining Hat Tricks were able to do more than pick up the slack, with two goals scored in the first period by John Macdonald and Dustin Jesseau. Macdonald was able to score on even strength with assists from Tommy Mele and Jon Stephansson.

Just a minute later, Jesseau scored on a power play after a two-minute minor called on Carolina’s Tory McLean who was penalized for slashing. The Hat Tricks didn’t let up a goal in the first period of play, and neither team was able to get a goal in the second period.

Pushing and shoving had occurred throughout the contest, but it took a turn around halfway through the last period.

The score had become 3-1 in favor of the Hat Tricks after a power-play goal from Danbury defenseman, Phil Bronner and a goal from Carolina’s forward, John Buttitta who scored while his team was shorthanded.

McLean started a fight with Mele of the Hat Tricks and soon, multiple players from both sides had jumped into the fray and started an all-out brawl. 

The fight was pushed into the benches and even the backup goalies started fighting. The two opposing skaters went at it even after being broken up by the referees.

Ultimately, both McLean and Mele were ejected from the game for fighting and received penalties for instigating, unsportsmanlike conduct and continuing a fight. 

Danbury won the game 3-1 despite the brawl and secured their spot for third place in the FPHL. They will take on the Binghamton Black Bears for game one of a best-of-three series in the first round of the playoffs starting on Monday, April 18.

Top Prospect in Baseball Throws for 100+ MPH 39 Times

Hunter Greene is currently ranked No. 22 out of all Major League Baseball (MLB) prospects. He sits at the top of the Cincinnati Reds farm system and is the fourth-best right-handed pitcher as behind Grayson Rodriguez, Shane Baz, and Jack Leiter. 

The second overall pick of the 2017 Amateur Draft is known for the strength behind his four-seam fastball as well as his 6’5”, 230-pound stature. He was drafted as a high schooler who was a two-way player, as he was both a starting pitcher and an infielder. 

In 2018, Greene recorded 89 strikeouts in 68.1 innings for the Daytona Tortugas, the Single-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. Unfortunately, he sustained an injury forcing him to undergo Tommy John Surgery, which took him out of competition for the 2019 season. In 2020, Minor League Baseball suspended their season, adding another year to Greene’s rehab.

By 2021, the California native spent time with the Chattanooga Lookouts (Double-A) and the Louisville Bats (Triple-A). During this season, he recorded a 3.05 ERA, including 139 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.143 in 106.1 innings of work.

After this impressive campaign, as well as striking out 11 batters in nine innings during 2022 Spring Training in Goodyear, Arizona, he earned a spot on the 40-man roster and even made the opening day roster on Sunday, April 3. 

Just this past week on Sunday, April 10, Greene made his big-league debut against the Atlanta Braves. He struck out seven batters in five innings and reached another milestone in his career, pitching 39 fastballs that read over 100 miles per hour throughout his 92-pitch campaign. 

This is an impressive feat for the 22-year-old, who has gotten the attention of baseball fans across the country with this MLB record.

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