Ruiz, Hat Tricks snap Wolves’ streak

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WATERTOWN — Breandan Colgan is enjoying his time with the Watertown Wolves and Saturday night proved to be no exception.

Colgan, a rookie goalie, made 40 saves to record his first career shutout and received plenty of offensive support as the Wolves cruised to a 9-0 rout of the Columbus River Dragons in a physical Federal Prospects Hockey League game before a crowd of 877 at Watertown Municipal Arena.

“It was good, I saw the puck pretty early in the game, I got into a groove and it just felt good,” Colgan said. “It’s easy to get those wins when you get nine goals, though.”

League-leading Watertown (8-2) also received a boost with the return of veteran defenseman Justin Coachman.

“Everyone was buzzing, we got points and goals from everyone,” Wolves team captain Justin MacDonald said. “Colgan played a great game, we played great in the d-zone, so overall it was a good game.”

Colgan stopped all 16 shots he faced in third period to finish off his gem.

“Pretty exciting, I’m really excited about it,” Colgan said of his shutout. “Usually when it’s a little lopsided like that, you’re not seeing the puck and one squeaks in. I felt like I kind of saw the puck well the whole game.”

“He’s standing on his head,” Watertown coach Brent Clarke said of Colgan, who has now three straight starts for the Wolves. “I think we’ve got a really good tandem right now with him and (Brendan) Hussey and they’re pushing each other to be better. For some reason they’re roommates and I don’t know why, I haven’t seen that before, goalies being roommates, but they’re crazy guys.”

MacDonald led the way in the onslaught by scoring two goals and assisting on three others. The Wolves led 2-0 after the first period and poured it on by scoring seven unanswered goals in the next 20 minutes.

Alexander Jmaeff each chipped in with a goal and two assists for Watertown, which won its fifth straight game.

Colgan has now won four of five decisions for the Wolves this season.

“I feel great, I’ve training a year and half for this, I wasn’t playing last year,” said Colgan, who made 22 saves in Watertown’s 4-2 victory against Columbus on Friday. “I’m excited to play again.”

Rookie Brandon Day scored 2:28 into the game to open the scoring. Then just two seconds later, Coachman in his return after serving his second suspension of the young season, fought with the River Dragons’ Justin Schmit.

Rocco DiConstanzo then finished off a centering feed from Jmaeff for a power-play goal with 6:49 left in the period for a 2-0 advantage.

Colgan stopped all 12 shots he faced in the first period, including two sharp successive shots with eight minutes left in the period.

“It was great that Colgan came in and he shut the door both nights,” MacDonald said. “We shouldn’t have allowed 40 shots, but we did, and he was incredible tonight.”

Watertown led 3-0 as Jmaeff converted on a cross ice pass from Jimmy Lodge, beating goalie Jared Rutledge up high 9:43 into the second period.

A series of melees followed as the Wolves’ Colin Chmelka fought with Edgars Ozolins and later, Watertown’s Ryan Devine dueled with Schmit right after MacDonald’s power-play goal with 6:09 left, with Ryan Devine assisting.

MacDonald’s tally sparked a five-goal outburst within a span of nearly five minutes, including three in just 1:07, for a 9-0 Watertown advantage.

“It was wild, we just happened to have some good plays,” MacDonald said. “Pucks were bouncing our way and that’s what happens when it goes your way, the puck will find the back of the net. A lot of guys stepped up, Chmelka, Coachman, Devine, they stepped up and did the dirty work and that really gave us a big boost.”

Cole McKechney, Justin LaPorte, MacDonald, Michael Mann and Lane King each scored in the run, with King’s power-play tally with 41 seconds left in the second period.

LaPorte’s goal chased Rutledge, a former Wolves’ goalie, who yielded the six goals on 23 shots faced.

Watertown finished 3-for-5 on the power play as it swept the two-game series with Columbus (3-4-2).

“Let’s keep it rolling and see what happens here,” said Clarke, whose team has also won seven of its past eight games. “Guys get called up all the time and like I tell our ownership and everybody else that asks, we’re just going to keep moving forward with a next-man-up mentality.”

Coachman played in just his third game of the campaign.

“It’s great, he’s a big guy out there,” MacDonald said. “He’s a simple defenseman, you know what you’re going to get, he’s always going to get the puck out of the zone. He’s not going to try anything too fancy and that’s what we need.”

Colgan, who grew up in Wyneewood, Pa., just outside of Philadelphia, also appreciates toughness.

“Growing up, I liked (Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ron) Hextall a lot, I liked the grittiness of him,” said Colgan, who stands at 6-foot-3 and 214 pounds.

n NOTES: The Wolves, now 4-1 at home, will play their next three games on the road, beginning with a game at Binghamton a 7 p.m. next Saturday. Watertown’s next home game will be against Delaware on at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 10 in a Saturday game at the Fairgrounds. ... MacDonald leads the FPHL in points (25) as well as in goals (10). ... Lodge, a rookie, recorded three assists on the night. ... Day and LaPorte’s goals was their first at the professional level.

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