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Titans Fall in Shootout to Reading, 6-5

 

The Trenton Titans must have hit the snooze button Wednesday morning. In an unusual 11 a.m. start, the Titans found themselves in a quick hole.

Goals by Royals defenseman Derrick LaPoint and center Matt Caruana led to a two-goal deficit only seven minutes into the game.

Luckily for Trenton (16-25-8), Dustin Cameron (1st star) was able to carry the load in the first period and not let things get out of hand. Cameron put in a Ray DiLauro pass at the 7:57 mark on a power play to make it a one-goal game.

The Titans play was sloppy, especially against a Reading team that thrives on power plays and pushing the puck. Trenton was unable to maintain the puck, which the Royals took advantage of. Andy Bohmbach explained problems the Titans’ had in the first period.

“We got lulled into their style of play,” Bohmbach said. “They like to go up and down, it’s kind of a free for all. It doesn’t suit our style. We like to get the puck in deep and grind on their defenseman. We got away from that.”

Reading’s third goal at the 13:03 mark exemplified the dangers of playing a wide-open team that uses space to create fast breaks. Royals defenseman Marc Cantin intercepted a Titans pass deep in their own zone and immediately flushed the puck down the ice past the Titans defense.

Yannick Tifu bolted as an outlet when he saw Cantin gain possession. Tifu’s speed and the placement of the pass allowed Tifu to have a one-on-one with goalie Brad Phillips, which he soon converted by lifting the puck into the top left corner.

“If we make a mistake they get numbers and lead to odd man rushes,” Cameron said after the game.

Cameron was able to bring the team within one when he received a pass from Andy Bohmbach (3rd star) and roofed a slapshot past Jussi Rynnas blocker with 42 seconds left in the period. The goal was Cameron’s 15th of the season.

The Royals (22-22-6) capitalized on a power play opportunity to at the beginning of the second period to stretch their lead to 4-2. Consecutive goals from Bohmbach and Matt Germain leveled the scoreboard heading into the final stanza.

Trenton took the lead at the 7:55 mark when Eric Baier received a cross from Chase Langernaap and buried a wrist shot into the bottom right corner. The Titans dominated the third period with good possessions, accurate passing, and solid goal play by Phillips. Reading looked off kilter with sloppy puck handling and an inability to clear its own zone.

What looked like an inevitable loss turned into an assured win until Mikael Bedford buried a slapshot that rushed through Phillips five-hole with 9:55 remaining.  Much like the rest of third period, the final minutes saw Titans opportunities squandered by the formidable play of Rynnas.

The 5-5 tie stood after a five minute overtime period that lacked any opportunities for either team. Rynnas finished with 35 saves and Phillips with 32.

Ryan Hayes started the shootout for the Titans with a wrist shot that went past Rynnas right leg. Bohmbach followed by deking to the right and finishing on the left. DiLauro was the first shooter to miss when his wrist shot clanked off the pipe. Bordson was able to keep the Titans in striking distance when he scored.

The first four shooters for the Royals found success against Phillips in familiar fashion. The skaters came down on the right side, broke left when they neared the crease and found the back of the net.

Cameron, the fifth shooter for the Titans, started right and cut left. His wrist shot rung against the post and slowly slid towards the boards as fans made their way out of the Sun National Bank Arena.

Vince Williams, while disappointed with the day’s result, looked forward to the rematch Friday night at 7 p.m.

“We get to play them again Friday. We can do it all over again and see how we respond,” Williams said.