Wright shuts out Knights in goalie duel

PITTSTON, Penn. – Spencer Wright faced 47 shots from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights and kept all of them out of the net as the Titans won by a 4-0 score.

The puck dropped at 11 a.m. Tuesday morning, usually when the Titans are in the midst of their morning skate. However this time it was in full uniform in a game situation. Despite the unusual start time both teams didn’t have any trouble finding scoring chances as they had 47 shots apiece by game’s end.

The first goal for either team didn’t come until the ladder half of the second period, as it was a goaltender’s duel from the opening faceoff until the final horn.

The first goal didn’t come until 15:34 of the first period when Brad Becker tried to center the puck to the slot from behind the red line. It hit a skate and went under Knights’ goaltender Andrei Svistunov. It was Becker’s third goal of the season.

It wasn’t until the 1:30 mark of third period until the first penalty was called as well. The ensuing power play belonged to the Titans and they didn’t waste much time capitalizing on the opportunity just 45 seconds later. Bruno Birzitis and Jesse Farabee opened up a lane for Anthony Cusanelli who buried it with the net left wide open.

Roberts Smits then added another goal at 7:47 of the third when he connected with William Riedel and Mike Gelatt. It was Smits’ sixth goal since joining the Titans last month from the Janesville Jets where he had four goals.

Joe Shuler added an empty netter for his fifth goal of the season to seal the win for New Jersey while Riedel finished the game with two assists.

Wright wasn’t the only one with a stellar performance in the makeup of the Nov. 28 postponed game. With his second goal in two games, Cusanelli is now tied for the team lead with Keegan Miller in goals with 14 each for the season.  Over the last nine games, Birzitis has recorded 10 points in the last nine as well as at least one point in four of the last five games.

The Titans will return to Revolution Ice Centre on Friday for a 7 p.m. faceoff against the Knights before hosting them on Saturday night at Middletown Ice World. Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. faceoff.