The visiting Maryland Black Bears defeated the New Jersey Titans 4 – 3 in a shootout last night. Despite the loss, the Titans were able to earn a point in the standings.
The roles were reversed from Friday night’s game between the two teams with the Titans jumping out to a two-goal lead.
After Maryland’s Daniel Colabufo was checked off the puck by defenseman Noah Szretter at the Titans far side half wall, the loose biscuit came out to Danny Cavanagh who sent a cross-ice pass up to Stephen Willey breaking down the near side boards. As Willey gained the line, he passed it over to David Posma on his left. Posma broke towards the net and as he reached the goal line, he took a backhanded sharp angle shot that beat Black Bears goalie Isaish DiLaura to give the Titans a 1 – 0 with 7:21 remaining in the first period.
At 8:24 into the second period the Titans would double their lead on defensman’s Matt Doyle’s first goal of the season. As Tyler Nasca looked to set up the play at the top of his own far side faceoff circle, he passed it up to Jake LaRusso at center ice. The Colts Neck, NJ native was able to pass the biscuit to Danny Cavanagh at the blueline as he was being hit by a Black Bear forward. Cavanagh skated to the top of the faceoff circle and backhanded a pass to Doyle in the high slot. Doyle took a stutter step and then took a shot that beat DiLaura short side to make it a 2 – 0 game.
Maryland then would score three consecutive goals.
With 3:05 left in the second, Maryland cut their deficit in half on Seth Bergeron’s first goal of the season. Black Bears defenseman Cam Gaudette took a shot from the near side point that missed the cage and went off the end boards to the far side corner where it was picked up by Garrett Szydlowski who sent it back to Bergeron at the point. The NAHL veteran walked the line and took a wrist shot that found its way through a screen and beat Titans goalie Louden Hogg high glove side to make it a 2 – 1 game.
Black Bears defenseman Jack Hillman picked up the loose puck behind his own net and passed it over to Luke Mountain at the near side faceoff dot and he immediately passed it up to Brendan Hill on his right. As Hill crossed his own blue line, he sent a long cross-ice pass up to Jude Kurtas breaking down the far side boards. As Kurtas reached the faceoff dot, he took a wrister that beat Hogg high short side to tie that game at 9:16 into the third period.
Maryland would take the lead with 3:12 left in the third. As Black Bears forward Shane Albert was knocked off the puck by Evan Werner at the end boards, the puck was picked up Kurtas behind the Titans net. Kurtas briefly skated back towards the near side corner and passed the puck out front to Grady Friedman who redirected it past Hogg for the 3 – 2 lead.
With thirty-one seconds remaining in the game and Hogg pulled for the extra attacker, Jack Ring had the puck in the offensive zone’s far side corner, and he passed it back to Doyle at the point. Doyle sent the biscuit down low to Christian Blomquist who was to the right of DiLaura. Blomquist centered it out front to Ring who buried the puck past DiLaura to knot the score at three and send the game into overtime.
After a scoreless overtime, the game went into a shootout. Maryland went first and Colabufo scored. He then was countered by the Titans Werner. Friedman scored to give the Black Bears the lead when Ring and LaRusso weren’t able to convert on their chances to give Maryland the 4 – 3 win to complete the weekend sweep of the Titans.
DiLaura stopped 23 of 26 shots while Hogg turned aside 45 of 48. Click here for the box score.
The Titans now will play the Maine Nordiques next weekend for a three-game series in Maine.