Balanced attack leads Titans to 4 – 2 win over Tomahawks to complete weekend sweep

Jan 8, 2023

Four different players – Levente Keresztes, Ethan Wongus, Leo Schwartz and Anthony Calafiore – scored to lead the Titans to a 4 – 2 win over the visiting Johnston Tomahawks and complete the weekend sweep between the teams.

It was the Titans fifth win in a row and eighth out of their last ten games (including two overtime losses). It was the fifteenth straight game in which the Red Buckets have earned a point. After starting the season with an 0 – 6 record, the Titans have won 20 out of their last 27 games. They now sit tied in second place in the East Division, and they just nine points out of first place.

The game seemed as if it had a late April atmosphere as opposed to Friday night’s game. Keresztes got the Titans on the board first when he scored a powerplay goal at 6:31 into the opening period. With the Tomahawks Will Moore off for tripping at the 4:37 mark of the period, With time running out on the man advantage, Keresztes had the puck down low towards the left of the Tomahawks net. As he started to skate towards the slot, he passed it back to Calafiore who sent a seamless return pass through the slot to Keresztes who redirected the biscuit past Johnstown’s goalie Alec Rajalin-Scharp for the Budapest Hungry native’s fifteenth goal of the season which leads the team.

Johnstown knotted the score at one with their own powerplay goal with 7:31 remaining in the opening period. After Brendan Dumas was called for holding at the 8:40 mark of the first, A little more than a minute later, Johnstown’s Ryan Vellucci picked up the rebound and snuck around Zak Brice and lifted the puck into the back of the net for Vellucci’s eighth goal of the season.

The Tomahawks made it 2 – 1 with 5:31 into the second period when Ryan Panico scored on a two-on-one for his fourth goal of the season.

The Titans tied the game with 9:29 remaining in the middle stanza. After Wongus intercepted a centering pass out front in his own zone, the passed the puck up to Robert Hyde just outside the Titans zone. As Hyde neared the Johnstown end, he sent a return pass to a breaking Wongus. As Edmonton, Alberta native gained the line, he put on the afterburners and went around a Tomahawks defender as he cut towards the net, and Wongus deked around Rajalin-Scharp and lifted the puck into the back of the net for “Wongo’s” second goal of the season (both against Johnstown).

Schwartz gave the Titans the lead for good at 3:08 into the third period. Tyler Sanborn set up the play from his own far side corner and sent a bounce pass off the wall to Ben Muthersbaugh who immediately passed the puck to Reece Brednich. As Brednich gained the offensive zone line, he passed the biscuit to Dumas on his right. As the Johnstown defenders went towards Dumas at the top of the slot, Dumas made a backhanded pass to Schwartz. As Schwartz reached the bottom of the near side faceoff circle, he took a sharp angle shot that beat Rajalin-Scharp to make it a 3 – 2 game.

Calafiore scored an empty net goal with thirty-three seconds remaining in the contest to make it a 4 – 2 game.

Brice turned aside 30 of 32 shots in the win while Rajalin-Scharp stopped 37 of 40 in defeat. Click here for the complete box score.

The Titans will now play the Rebels next weekend in a home-and-home series with Friday’s game at the Middletown Sports Complex and Saturday’s game will be played at Hollydell.