Newcomer Dominik Bartecko scored just nine seconds into overtime to give the visiting Titans a 3 – 2 come from behind victory over the Northeast Generals last night at the New England Sports Village.
It was the Titans third straight win and moved them within one game of the .500 mark.
This was a very entreating game with the Titans mounting a blitzkrieg type of offense throughout while the Generals had quality chances but Red Buckets netminder Zak Brice, playing in his first game since September 30 due to illness, was spectacular.
Northeast’s Jacob Wilson scored midway through the first period to open the scoring. With play just outside the Titans zone, the Generals’ Phil Feinberg was knocked off the puck by Anthony Calafiore and Brendan Dumas, but the puck went to the left of Feinberg where it was picked up by Wilson. As Wilson gained the line, he went around a Titans defender and walked in all alone on Brice. As Wilson cut across the slot, he backhanded the puck through Brice’s five hole for Wilson’s first goal of the season.
Dumas knotted the score at one with 4:08 remaining in the second period. Owen Luik picked up the loose puck at the top of his own zone and passed it up to Ben Muthersbaugh along the near side boards just outside the Generals zone. As Muthersbaugh gained the line, he passed it to Dumas on his right. As Dumas received the puck, he passed it to Reece Brednich on his right. Brednich went from the top of the slot and down towards the near side faceoff circle. As Brednich went to the cage, he backhanded a pass to a trailing Dumas who took a shot that was saved by Generals’ netminder Cullen DeYoung but the rebound came right back to Dumas who jammed it into the net for his sixth goal of the season.
Former Titan Jake LaRusso scored with two seconds left in the middle stanza to give the Generals a 2 – 1 lead. After Brice made a save, the rebound came out to Muthersbaugh who went to clear the puck but it was kept in at the near side point by Northeast’s Douglas Friberg who passed the puck up to Ryan Schelling. As Schelling went to the faceoff dot, he made a cross-ice pass to LaRusso who took a one-timer that beat Brice high, short side for the Colts Neck, NJ native’s 13th goal of the season.
The Generals lead didn’t last long as Levente Keresztes scored just a minute into the third period to even the score at two. After Luik picked up the loose puck off a Generals’ shinpad, Luik passed it up to Michael Young just outside the Titans zone. As Young went through center ice in into the offensive zone, the went to make a centering pass at the top of the Generals far side faceoff circle he it hit off a Northeast defender and right to Keresztes at the top of the slot. As Keresztes controlled the puck at the top of the slot, he took a wrist shot that beat DeYoung high, long side that popped off the water bottle for the Budapest, Hungry native’s fifth goal of the season.
After regulation ended tied, it moved into the extra period for three-on-three hockey that was over in a blink of an eye.
After Calafiore won the opening draw, the puck went back to Luik at his own blueline. Luik skated through the neutral zone and into the offensive end. As Luik reached the far side faceoff dot, he turned and made a centering pass out front to Bartecko who took a one-timer that beat DeYoung high, short side to win the game. Bartecko was acquired earlier in the week in a trade with the Amarillo Wranglers.
Brice stopped 27 of 29 shots in the win while DeYoung, who also played extremely well throughout the game, turned aside 44 of 47 shots 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 New England Sports Village.