Hovinen Holds Down Fort As Titans Win Opener 3-1
The Trenton Titans began the 2012-13 season with a 3-1 victory over the Greenville Road Warriors, Friday night in Trenton.
Flyers goaltending prospect Niko Hovinen made his North American professional debut and the 6’7” Finnish monster needed his wide shoulders to carry the team.
The Titans were outshot by the Road Warriors 32-19 and the Titans gave the Road Warriors six powerplays forcing Hovinen to make crucial saves during the whole game. Hovinen was more than up to the task stopping 31 of the 32 shots with the only blemish being a goal to Brandon Wong at 16:33 of the first period.
Forward Stephen Schultz opened the scoring for Trenton at 5:33 of the first period taking a feed from Flyers forward prospect Jason Akeson.
Akeson spoke of the goal giving his teammate all the credit,
“I saw (Shultz) all alone in the slot and he took an incredible shot.”
At 9:06 Akeson would score a goal of his own to give the Titans a 2-0 lead early. Both goals were powerplay goals.
On his goal Akeson humbly said.
“I just shot it and it went in, sometimes the puck has eyes.”
Ryan Hayes would make it 3-1 at 12:51 of the second period as he tipped a Mitch Versteeg slap shot from the point past Greenville goalie Nathan Lieuwen and the Titans defense would hold the lead.
Coach Vince Williams was proud of his team, but he noted that there were a few small errors, however he is not worried as he said.
“it’s all stuff that be easily corrected.”
Coach Williams pointed out the good work his team did in screening Lieuwen during the game.
“Hayes was standing in front of the net, and he tipped one in.”
He summed up the performance as a whole with a short sentence,
“They’ve been great.”
With the home opener out of the way, Trenton will play division rival Reading on Saturday evening.