Chris Carroll scored two goals, Ryan Coughlin had a goal and an assist while Anthony Calafiore and Brendan Dumas each had a pair of assists to help lead the visiting Titans to a 4 – 2 win over the Nordiques last night.
The Titans jumped out to a two-goal lead starting with 5:37 remaining in the opening period. After Carroll won the draw deep inside his own zone, the puck went back to David Posmas and the bottom of the near side faceoff circle and Posma wrapped it around the end boards and up the far side wall where it redirected by Brandon Avezov at his own blueline and all the way into the Nordiques zone. As the puck went towards the net, Maine’s goaltender Avery Sturtz fielded it and went to pass it up the far side boards, but it was blocked by Calafiore. The loose biscuit came right out to Carroll who shot it into the open net fourth goal of the season.
With 5:13 left in the first period, Maine’ Evan Orloff was called for cross-checking to give the Titans the man advantage. Twenty-three seconds later Coughlin doubled the Red Buckets lead. As Maine tried to clear the puck along the near side boards, it was kept in the zone by Owen Luik at the point. Luik wrapped the puck around the boards where it was picked up by Carroll behind the Nordiques net. Carroll sent it back to Dumas at the far side point and Dumas immediately made a return pass to Carroll. Carroll made a backdoor pass out front, and Coughlin jammed home the puck into the open net for his second goal as a Titan (both are against Maine).
Orloff cut the Nordiques deficit in half with 3:13 remaining in the period. Maine’s Jonny Meiers intercepted a Blake Farrell centering pass just outside the Titans zone and Meiers dumped the puck to the end wall where Patrick Schmiedlin backhanded the puck around the far side boards and back to Orloff at the point. Orloff took a clapper that founds its way through a maze out front and past Titans’ goaltender Andrew Takacs and into the net to make it a 2 – 1 game.
Maine’s Zion Green tied the game at 3:47 into the second period. The Nordiques’ Matthew Connor picked up the loose puck just above his own near side faceoff circle, and he made a long cross-ice stretch pass to Green. As Green gained the line, he walked in all along on Takacs and beat the Titans netminder down low and into the net for Green’s seventh goal of the season.
Just twenty-six seconds after the Nordiques tied the game, Maine’s Martin Marnauzs was called for holding to give the Titans the man advantage. A minute later Carroll gave the Titans the lead for good. As the Red Buckets were in the offensive zone, Luik set up the play at the top of the point. Luik passed the puck over to Coughlin at the top of the far side faceoff circle and Coughlin took a shot that was redirected by Carroll in the slot and past Sturtz for Carroll’s second goal of the game, and his third as a Titan.
Tommy Bannister doubled the Titans lead at 8:47 into the final period to close out the scoring. Dumas picked up the loose puck behind the Nordiques net and started to circle around it and to the right of Sturtz. As Dumas came out front, he backhanded a pass to Posma who made a backdoor pass through the goalmouth to Bannister and the assistant captain rammed it into the open net for his team high fourteenth goal of the season.
Takacs stopped 39 of 41 shots in the victory while Sturtz turned aside 46 of 50. Click here for the box score.
The team will meet again tonight at 7:00PM to close out the two-game series.