The New Jersey Titans peppered 35 shots on goal, but Hunter Alden was the only player to score in a 2-1 loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights on Wednesday afternoon at the Revolution Ice Centre.
Knights goaltender David Tomeo made 34 saves while Brandon Perrone stopped 37 out of 39 shots in a losing effort for the Titans, who now fall to 13-11-2. Wilkes-Barre’s win improves their record to 18-7-3 and puts them ahead of the Rebels for first place in the East Division.
There were a couple of familiar faces returning to the Titans’ lineup today, with Nick Boyagian making his return after a two-game absence. Kyler Head made his season debut with the Titans after starting the year with the Green Bay Gamblers and the Central Illinois Flying Aces of the USHL.
Despite a rejuvenated lineup coming off a big win against the Rebels, the Titans had a slow start to the first period and were outshot at one point by a margin of 11-4. Brandon Perrone made a couple of saves from close-range, including several on a Knights’ power play midway through the period.
It was New Jersey, however, that struck first with 17 seconds remaining in the period. Hunter Alden picked up the puck on the half-wall and and took a sharp-angle shot that went over the glove of Knights’ goaltender David Tomeo for his seventh goal of the season.
The Knights evened the score early in the second as Adrian Danchenko found a rebound sitting right in front of the crease and punched in his sixth goal of the season. Moments later, Tate Singleton had a mini-breakaway and went to his forehand, but Tomeo stretched out his right pad to make the save.
Curtis Carlson had a chance to give the Knights the lead, as he had the puck in the low slot with Perrone out of position following a scramble at the side of the net, but Matthew Cameron and Head both clogged the shooting lane and deflected the puck over the glass on Carlson’s shot.
With 29 seconds left in the second, New Jersey took a bench minor for too many men on the ice as the Knights converted on the power play in just five seconds. They won the faceoff, got a shot from the point and Michael Morrissey slammed home the rebound for his seventh of the season.
The Titans spent most of the third period pressing for the tying goal. Their best chance came on a four-on-four where Boyagian set up a tip-in attempt for Todd Goehring, but Tomeo turned it away with a pad save. Perrone was pulled for the extra attacker in the last minute of play, but the score remained 2-1.
There are two games remaining on the Titans’ stretch of seven consecutive road games. They are 2-3-0 in that span and will have two more games this weekend against the Northeast Generals. The first game is on Saturday and is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. puck drop.