Five different players lit the lamp to give the New Jersey Titans a 5 – 3 win over the visiting Maryland Black Bears. It was the Titans second straight victory and first over Maryland this season.
Anthony Calafiore, who just signed his National Letter of Intent to Robert Morris University, gave the Titans a 1 – 0 lead at 7:48 into the first period. As the Titans Caleb Price dumped the puck deep inside the Black Bears zone, it was picked up by Jake LaRusso at the end boards where he immediately passed it over to Price to his right. Price, still behind the goal line, backhanded a centering pass out front to Calafiore who one-timed it past Maryland netminder Michael Morelli for his fourth goal of the season.
With 4:41 remaining in the opening period, Maryland’s Brad McNeil knotted the score at one. After the Black Bears’ Daniel Colabufo won the draw deep inside the Titans zone, the puck went back to the nearside point to Cam Gaudette. Gaudette lofted a shot on goal that was redirected out front by McNeil and past Titans goalie Louden Hogg.
Maryland’ Hunter McCoy was called for tripping with 2:04 left in the period to give the Titans the man advantage. As time was about to expire with the extra attacker and in period, Levente Keresztes scored his first goal as a Titan. As the Black Bears’ Seth Bergeron tried to clear the puck out of his own zone, it was kept in at the nearside point by Jack Ring. As Ring reached the top of the faceoff circle, he passed it over to Stephen Willey on his right. Willey made a backhanded centering pass out front to Keresztes who was stopped by Morelli but Keresztes picked up his own rebound and put it past the prone Maryland netminder to give the Titans a 2 – 1 lead with :16 remaining in the opening period.
The Titans would take a two-goal lead 7:42 into the middle stanza. With the Titans pressuring in the offensive zone, the puck went back to Evan Werner at the nearside point. Werner took a shot on net that Morelli made a blocker save but the rebound came out to Tommy Bannister who made a high centering pass out front that was knocked down by Ring and the Hingham, MA lifted the puck over Morelli and into the open net for his second goal of the season.
Colabufo was called for hooking with 9:37 remaining in the second to give New Jersey the extra attacker. Ten seconds later Werner gave the Titans a 4 – 1 lead. After the ensuing faceoff deep inside the Black Bears zone, a scrum occurred along the near side half wall where LaRusso was able to push it down to Bannister. As Bannister reached the goal line, he made a centering pass out front to Werner who took a snapshot that hit the crossbar and went past Morelli into the net for his sixth goal of the season.
The Black Bears would cut their deficit in half with 8:12 into the third period. With the puck at his own near side half wall, Gaudette passed the puck up to the point to Hunter McCoy who immediately left a drop pass for Jude Kurtas. As Kurtas entered the Titans zone along the boards, he cut across the high slot and dropped the puck for McCoy who blistered a shot high, glove side past Hogg for his third goal of the season.
A minute and eighteen seconds later, Shane Albert brought the Black Bears within one. With the puck behind his own goal line, Maryland’s Bryan Huggins passed the biscuit to his own far side corner where it was picked up by Shane Albert who headmanned the puck up to McNeil at center ice. As McNeil gained the line along the far side boards, he cut across the slot and took a shot that was saved by Hogg, but the rebound came right out to Albert and he wristed the puck past Hogg to make it a 4 – 3 game.
Joe Schubert scored his fourth goal of the season, an empty netter, with fifty-four second left in the game to close out the scoring.
Hogg stopped 30 of 33 shots while Morelli turned aside 24 of 28. Click here for the box score.
The teams will close out the two-game series tonight at 7:00PM at the Middletown Sports Complex.