Brendan Dumas and Levente Keresztes each scored two goals to lead the Titans to a 7 – 3 win over the visiting Maine Nordiques last night. The victory, coupled with the Maryland Black Bears loss to the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks, moves the Red Buckets into sole possession of first place.
The Titans took a quick two-goal lead just 2:35 into the game. Dumas opened the scoring at 1:41 into the first period. Tommy Bannister intercepted the puck at the top of his own blueline and skated through center ice and into the Nordiques zone. As he gained the line on a 2-on-1 with Dumas, he passed the puck to Dumas on his right and Dumas took a wrist shot that beat Maine’s goalie Gus Holt high short side to make it a 1 – 0 game.
Less than a minute later Coleman Nee doubled the Titans lead. As Maine’s Filip Wiberg went to control the puck just outside his own blueline, the puck bounced to Owen Luik at center ice. As Luik gained the line on a 3-on-2, he passed the puck to Nee on his right. Nee took a wrist shot from the far side faceoff that hit off the nearside post and went past Holt and into the net for Nee’s second goal of the year.
Maine’s Reese Farrell cut the Titans lead in half with 7:20 into the first period. As the Nordiques look to break out of their own zone, the puck went off the linesman at center ice along the far side boards and went directly to Tyler Gaulin. As Gaulin gained the line, he went towards the corner and made a backhanded pass to Farrell in the slot. Farrell took a clapper that went off the post and past Titans netminder Andrew Takacs and into the net to make it a 2 – 1 game.
The Titans regained their two-goal lead with 6:48 left in the first period on Keresztes first goal of the game. While a scrum was taking place at the Nordiques near side half wall, the puck went into the corner where it was picked up by newcomer Chris Carroll. Carroll made a seamless pass to Keresztes in the slot and the Budapest Hungry native made a move to his left and beat Holt for his sixth goal of the season.
Maine then scored two consecutive powerplay goals to tie the game starting at 7:28 into the second period. Carroll and Nee were called for tripping and interference respectively to give the Nordiques a 5-on-3. As Farrell gained the offensive zone line, he passed the puck to Tristan Fasig on his right. Fasig, who was at the nearside blueline, made a cross-ice pass to Gaulin at the point. Gaulin took a clapper that was saved by Takacs, but the deep rebound came right out to Fasig in the slot, and he ripped the biscuit into the open net to make it a 3 – 2 game. It was the first powerplay goal of the season the Maine scored against the Titans.
With eight seconds remaining on Nee’s interference penalty, Maine’s Jonny Meiers tied the game at three at the 8:52 mark of the middle stanza. After the Titans dumped the puck deep into the Nordiques zone, it was stopped by Holt behind his own net where it left it for Meiers. Meiers circled around the net up through the neutral zone and he entered the Titans end along the nearside boards. As he gained the line, he picked up a burst of speed and skated around Eric Charpentier and cut towards the net. Meiers took a wrist shot that beat Takacs high short side for his fifth goal of the season.
Thirty-nine seconds later David Posma regained the lead for the Titans and they never looked back. As Maine sought to break out of the own zone, the puck was kept in at the near side point by Anthony Calafiore who passed it up to Dumas as the half wall. Dumas made a centering pass out front to Bannister. Bannister took a shot that was saved by Holt but the rebound came right out to Posma who buried it past Holt and into the net for his fourth goal of the season.
Playing four-on-four hockey, Anthony Mollica gave the Titans a two-goal lead with 2:13 remaining in the second period. Michael Young picked up the loose puck at the far side corner in the Maine zone and skated back towards the near side point. As he turned, he went to make a cross-ice pass down low to Mollica and the puck went off a Maine defender’s stick and right to Mollica in the slot. Mollica went from his forehand to his backhand and lifted the puck past Holt for his third goal of the season.
Dumas scored his second goal of the game – a powerplay goal – with 1:09 remaining in the second period to make it a 6 – 3 game, and then Keresztes make it 7 – 3 just 1:11 into the third period to close out the scoring.
Takacs stopped 33 of 36 shots in the win while Holt turned aside 43 of 50 in the loss. Click here for the box score.
The teams will play the second of their two-game series tonight at 7:00PM at the Middletown Sports Complex.