Titans Go To Overtime, Win Third Straight
After a successful road trip where the Titans earned points in three straight games, Trenton returned home for a two game weekend set with the Chicago Express.
Before the game, the team made a plethora of roster moves, so the new-look Titans would have to build chemistry on the fly.
Luckily for Trenton, it happened quickly. After drawing two early penalties, the Titans had 57 seconds of 5-on-3 time in the first period. With both members of the Express top defensive pair in the box, the Titans would get to work.
Working the puck around, Andy Bohmbach would try to feed Dustin Cameron for a shot that would pinball into Express center Tyler Johnson and past goalie Rob Nolan who deflected the puck into his own net giving Bohmbach credit for the goal.
Soon after, the first of many scrums would break out as Chicago’s Chaz Johnson and Trenton’s J.S. Berube would tangle in front of the Chicago net. Both players would drop their sticks and one glove before falling to the ice, each was given a roughing minor.
The Titans maintained control throughout the period and it would carry over to the second. During the second period, the Titans defense tightened up, and Trenton pulled away in the shot differential outshooting Chicago 15-7 in the second frame.
At the 7:40 mark of the period, Titans captain Randy Rowe fired a shot into the crease area, the puck pin-balled around for 4 seconds, and once again the Express knocked the puck into their own net and once again, Bohmbach would get credit for the goal.
With a carry over power play from a late boarding call on Johnson, the Titans easily maintained momentum for the early part of the third period. After another Chicago penalty, this time to defenseman Steven Delisle, the Titans began to sit back and control the clock.
With 6:42 to go, the Express would get a fluky goal as Evan Stephens would beat Titans goalie Dave Caruso short side with a wrist shot as Caruso was bumped by a Chicago forward. There was no penalty on the play.
Caruso hinted that the puck may have deflected off a Titan,
“He put it on net,” he said. “I was a little bit screened, I think it deflected”
About a minute later, Jordan Southorn of the Titans would be sent to the box for delay of game, and the Express a late game power play and a chance to tie the game. Things went from bad to worse for Trenton as Andy Thomas would soon join Southorn in the box after taking a boarding minor with 4:27 left.
Titans Coach Vince Williams was skeptical of the call on Andy Thomas.
“A couple of calls, delay of game, if it goes out of the rink, it’s out of the rink,” he said. “I don’t know boarding though, I don’t know how hard Tommer [Andy Thomas] hit him,”
Chicago would call their timeout to prepare for the 23 seconds of 5-on-3 time. Six seconds after the draw, Chicago would tie the game on a goal from Johnson. Titans goaltender Caruso was honest about the goal,
“I should have had it, he [Johnson] whiffed on it, I should have had it.”
Coach Williams was quick to defend his goalie.
“Dave is his own harshest critic, he played well tonight,” he said. “He’s a consummate pro, this is why we signed him. It starts in net with him, and moves out.”
The Titans killed off the remaining 5-on-4 to keep the game tied.
The Titans frustration from the late game collapse showed as the team’s discipline from the early part of the game faded and the team made decisions and turned the puck over during the closing minutes of regulation.
Coach Williams noted that the types of shots the Titans are allowed were low quality shots,
“When playing our system, the shots we allow come from the blue line, that does not put a lot of stress on the goalie,” he said.
With 3:42 left in overtime, Cameron stole the puck from the Express and went in on a 2-on-1 with Peter Lenes, Lenes was stopped by Nolan and the high quality Titans scoring chance was thwarted.
Yet, another fluky chance would send the Titans off the ice with two points. With 2:20 remaining in overtime, Rob Bordson would win the game as he tapped in a puck that pin-balled in front.
Notes and Observations
Transactions: Trenton traded Blair Yaworski (F) to Utah for future considerations.
Brad Phillips (G) is day-to-day with a hip injury.
Titans added Anthony Felice (G) and Tyler Shelast (F) and J. S. Berube (RW).
Coach Williams was quick to praise his whole lineup in the postgame
He noted the team’s evolution, “Right now, we have three lines who can score, three lines who can play in their own end, this is how our system works.” He contrasted this to the slow start adding, “Now, we’re finding ways to win. That’s maturity, that’s experience.”
With the strong November coinciding with several players doing Movember, Rob Bordson was asked if he would keep his facial hair since the team has played a solid November;
Bordson chuckled and said, “Yeah, I mean, why not? I don’t mind it, it’s kinda goofy but it’s all for a good cause.”
Bordson, along with Corey Syvret, Caruso and Phillips are Titans players doing Movember.
The Titans finish the home stand tomorrow with a rematch against Chicago.