New Jersey Titans goaltender Berk Berkeliev was outstanding in last night’s game turning aside 36 of 37 shots but it wasn’t enough as Isaiah Fox scored in round three of a shootout to give the Maine Nordiques a 2 – 1 win over the visiting Titans.
It was a shame that a team had to lose. It was an exciting contest from start to finish with end-to-end action with Berkeliev and his Nordiques counterpart Avery Sturtz standing on their head to make several key saves to keep their respective team in the game.
After a scoreless first period Matt Boczar put the Titans on the board at 6:31 into the middle stanza. With the puck behind his own net, Tyler Nasca looked to set up the play and sent a bounce pass off the near side boards where it was picked up by Simon Labelle just outside the Titans blueline. Labelle skated up along the boards and entered the offensive zone on a 3-on-2. As Labelle was near the top of the faceoff circle, he passed it over to Boczar on his left. As Boczar skated to the slot he took a wrist shot that beat Sturtz through the five hole to give the Titans a 1 – 0 lead. It was Boczar’s second goal of the season.
With 7:13 left in the second, Maine’s Tristan Fasig tied the game. Fasig brought the puck up along the near sideboards and into the offensive zone but he was knocked off the puck by Jake LaRusso. The puck would go to the end boards where it was picked up by Caden Pattison. As Pattison skated behind the New Jersey net towards the far side corner, he reversed and made a centering pass out front to Fasig in the slot and Fasig redirected the puck past Berkeliev for his first goal of the season.
The Nordiques pressured the Titans zone throughout the third period having almost doubled the Titans in shots on goal (13 to 7) but Berkeliev stood on his head to make many grade A saves.
After a scoreless third and overtime, it went to a shootout with Fox being the last shooter in the third round as he beat Berkeliev to win the game.
Berkeliev was saddled with the lost while Sturtz turned aside 32 of 33 shots. Click here for the box score.
“I was proud of our response tonight” stated Titans head coach Craig Doremus. “We just competed more, moved our feet and played with some heart. We have to regroup and dig deep and find a way to get two points tomorrow (October 25) afternoon” concluded Doremus.
The teams will play the third and final game of this three-game series today at 1:00 PM.