The visiting Titans scored four, second period goals en route to a 5 – 2 win over the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks last night. It was the Red Buckets fifth straight win and nine out of their last ten games. The victory gives the Titans 36 wins on the season and increases their lead in the East Division standings to 13 points over the second place Maryland Black Bears, whom they begin a two-game home series with beginning tomorrow night at Middletown Sports Complex.
It was not the auspicious start that the Titans had hoped. Danbury’s Robert Hyde was called for boarding at 9:08 into the opening period to give the Titans the man advantage. Less than a minute later, the Hat Tricks took a 1 – 0 lead. As Nick Ring went to set up the play in the offensive zone at the top of the far side point, he sent an errant at the top of the slot that was redirected by a Tricks defender and the loose puck was picked up by Danbury’s Gabe Dombrowski at center ice and he walked in all alone on a breakaway and beat Titans netminder Ben Charette through the five hole for Dombrowski’s nineteenth goal of the season.
After starting the second period down by one, the Titans then scored four unanswered goals in the period to take control of the game.
Rocco Testa-Basi tied the game just 3:10 into the middle stanza. Testa-Basi picked up the loose puck along the near side half wall in the offensive zone, and he passed it back to Colin Grable at point who passed it over to David Posma on his left. As Posma pinched towards the top of the faceoff circle, he made a cross-ice pass through the slot to Testa-Basi who took a one-timer that beat Danbury netminder Connor McDonough high, glove side for his eleventh goal of the season.
At 6:43 of the second Hyde was called for hooking to put the Titans on the powerplay. This time Billy Feczko made sure the result was different. After Chris Carroll won the draw deep inside the offensive zone, the puck went back to Jack Karlsson at the far side point who passed it over to Feczko at the top of the near side faceoff circle. As Feczko pinched towards the net, he took a wrist shot that found its way through a maze and beat McDonough high blocker side for Feczko’s seventh goal of the season and third as a Titan.
The Titans doubled their lead with 8:25 left in the second. After Danbury cleared the puck out their end and into the Titans zone, it was picked up by Tyler Sanborn at his own near side faceoff dot. Sanborn went behind his own net and up the far side boards, through center ice and into the offensive zone. As he reached the top of the far side faceoff circle, he cut towards center ice and passed it over to Blake Farrell just outside the near side faceoff circle. Farrell took a wrist shot that beat McDonough long side for Farrell’s fifth goal of the season.
Eric Charpentier gave the Titans a three-goal lead with ten seconds remaining in the period. After McDonough made a point blank save, the deep rebound came out to Ring at the top of the slot and he skated towards the near side faceoff circle. As Ring looked to set up, he passed the puck back to Charpentier at the point and the tall defenseman passed it over to Posma at the far side boards. Posma sent a return pass to Charpentier who took a one-timer that went through traffic and beat McDonough high glove side for his second goal of the season.
New Jersey made it 5 – 1 when Owen Luik scored his first goal as a Titan just thirty seconds into the third period. Danbury’s Boris Skalos scored a powerplay goal at 5:41 into the final period to close out the scoring.
Charette stopped 16 of 18 shots in the win while McDonough turned aside 39 of 44. Click here for the box score.
The Titans now have ten games remaining in the season, with eight of them at home beginning tomorrow night against Maryland.