Better With Popcorn

Slow start finishes Titans, Trenton falls 4-1

On Friday night, the Trenton Titans fell victim to an early three-goal deficit to the South Carolina Stingrays.

Chris Doyle opened the scoring by putting in a rebound at the 7:06 mark. The Stingrays (19-16-1-1-40) were looking to win their fourth consecutive game.

With seven minutes remaining in the first period, Dustin Cameron was penalized for high sticking. The Stingrays won the subsequent faceoff and Nick Tabisz blasted in a slap shot from the top of the box six seconds into the man advantage.

Pressure from Trenton’s forecheck afforded the Titans early opportunities that the team didn’t capitalize on.

It wasn’t the only issue the team was having.

They weren’t winning one-on-one battles and failed to clean up the front of their goal. Scoring chances were few and far between. Simply put: Trenton looked like they didn’t want to play.

Coach Vince Williams explained the Titans early problems.

“We just got outworked and beat to the puck,” he said. “We go on the road and we’re gangbusters but [we’ve] been a little more passive at home. We’ve got to be ready to play.”

David de Kastrozza put in the Stingrays’ third goal of the game with 5:03 left in the first period when he put a rebound into an open net off a slap shot attempt from the point.

Trenton goalie Dave Caruso was unable to make a play on the puck because a Stingray forward interfered with him.

Caruso explained South Carolina’s third goal.

“The puck came in and there were two guys in front of me. One of ours and one of theirs. The [puck] hit them up high, I was looking for the puck and it just went right to their stick,” Caruso said.

The Titans finished the period with a power play. While they successfully moved the puck around the perimeter, Trenton wasn’t able to get any significant looks on cage.

Trenton played well in the second period generating some footage for the end of the year highlight film but still weren’t consistent enough to get back in the game.

Caruso snagged what looked like an automatic goal from in close despite being on his back and on the side of the net.

Mitch Versteeg walloped a Stingray forward into the boards allowing the 4,000 quiet fans at Sun National Bank Center an opportunity to cheer.

Versteeg scored the lone Titan’s goal with 5:05 remaining in the second period. The Titan defensemen was able to put a snapshot through traffic from the top of the zone.

Despite outplaying the Stingrays in the final two periods, the Titans lost because of the slow start.

“We lost this game in the first period,” Williams said. “We have to play 60 minutes. We had chances and we didn’t capitalize.”

The Titans host the Reading Royals tonight at 7. Look for the Titans to coming flying out of the gate.