Tommy Bannister, Ryan Coughlin and Michael Young each had three points to help lead the Titans to a 5 – 1 win over the visiting Jamestown Rebels in game one of this two-game series.
In what possibly could be a potential first-round playoff match up between these teams, it was a very close game until midway through the third period.
After a scoreless first, Bannister opened the scoring with 8:32 remaining in the middle stanza. With play behind the Titans net, Jamestown made a centering pass out front that was intercepted by Young in the slot. Young turned and made a shuttle pass up to Coughlin who skated through center ice and into the offensive zone. As Coughlin gained the line on a two-on-one with Bannister, he made a backhanded pass at the near side faceoff dot to Bannister on this right in the slot. Bannister went from his backhand to his forehand and slid the puck through the pads of Rebels goalie Jon Howe’s to make it a 1 – 0 game.
Bannister doubled the Titans lead with twenty-five seconds remaining in the second. As the Titans looked to set up the play in the offensive zone, Bannister went to pass it down low to Coughlin, but the puck was blocked by a Jamestown defender and the biscuit came directly back to Bannister who passed it Young in the far side corner. Young passed the biscuit over to Coughlin who was to the back and left of Howe. As Young started to circle behind the net, he made a backhanded pass out to Bannister in the slot, and Bannister deked around an outstretched Howe and the Clayton, NY native lifted the puck up and over the prone Rebels netminder and into the open net for his team high twentieth goal of the season.
Jamestown cut their deficit in half with 9:04 remaining in the third period. With play in the Titans zone, the Rebels’ Conor Sedlak picked up the loose puck at the near side half wall and passed to Ethan Janda behind the net. Janda made a centering pass out front to Janda who took a shot that was saved by Red Buckets netminder Andrew Takacs but Sedlak picked up his own rebound and put it past Takacs and into the net for his ninth goal of the season.
The Titans regained their two-goal lead just forty-seven seconds later on Coughlin’s tenth goal of the season and sixth as a Red Bucket. As Bannister went behind the Titans net, he passed the puck to Young who was to the left of Howe but behind the goal line. Young passed it out to Coughlin who was caddy corner to Howe and Coughlin cut across the goalmouth, made drag move around a Rebels defender and backhanded the puck past Howe to make it a 3 – 1 game.
The Titans went up 4 – 1 with 2:32 left in the contest. David Posma brought the puck own of his own zone and passed it up to Blake Farrell just outside the Rebels zone. As Farrell gained the line, he passed it over to Stephen Willey on his left at the far side boards. Willey sent the biscuit back to Posma at the point the Pomona, NY simply through the puck on net that handcuffed Howe and went into the net for Posma’s tenth goal of the season.
Brendan Dumas scored with twenty-four seconds remaining in the game to close out the scoring to make it 5 – 1.
Takacs turned aside 31 of 32 shots while Howe stopped 28 of 33 in defeat. Click here for the complete box score.
The teams will meet again tonight for game two of this two-game series at 7:00PM at the Middletown Sports Complex.