Chris Garbe, Kyle Jeffers and birthday boy Mitch Machlitt each had a goal and an assist to help lead the Titans to a 5 – 4 victory over the visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knight last night. The win expanded the Titans lead to five points in the East Division.
At 4:10 into the opening period it was Jeffers who opened the scoring for the Titans. Garbe brought the puck into the offensive zone along the far side boards. As Garbe went to the net, he made a backhanded pass across the slot to Jeffers who tapped the puck in past Knights goalie Alex Contey to make it a 1 – 0 game.
Garbe doubled the Titans lead at 7:26 into the first period. Jeffers would win the draw deep inside the Knights zone and puck went to Garbe on his right. Garbe skated to the top of the faceoff circle and took a shot that found its way through a screen and past Contey for his twelfth goal of the season.
At 9:09 into the period, Jake LaRusso was called for a five-minute tripping major to give the Knights the man advantage. With eight minutes left in the period, Artur Turansky cut WBS’ deficit in half. Jordan Strand set up the play at the top of the point and passed the puck over to Lincoln Hatten at the far side faceoff circle. Hatten passed it down low to Tyrone Bronte at the goal line and Bronte centered it out front to Turansky who beat Titans netminder Patrick Pugliese glove side to make it a 2 – 1 game.
The Knights would tie the score at two with just seventeen seconds remaining in the opening period. As Brad Zona went to break out of his own zone, he was cut off and reversed course and wrapped the puck behind his own net and up along the near side boards where it was intercepted by the Knights Zack Currie. Currie passed it down low to Michael Sacco who was to the left of Pugliese. Sacco took a shot that was saved by Pugliese, but the rebound came out to Johnny Kaljian who buried the biscuit into the open net to make it a 2 – 2 game.
Machlitt gave the Titans a 3 – 2 lead with a penalty shot goal at 4:49 into the middle stanza. Ole Andersen picked up the loose puck in his own zone at the half wall and made a long saucer pass to Machlitt just outside the Knights blueline. Machlitt went towards the net in clear but was taken down by WBS’ Beck Moore and Machlitt was awarded a penalty shot. As Machlitt skated towards the net he shot the puck downlow past Contey for his team high twenty-first goal.
Cam Gendron would give the Titans another two-goal lead with 9:23 left in the second. Nick DeSantis picked up the loose puck in his own zone and sent it up to Gendron at center ice. Gendron made a bounce pass off the near side wall to LaRusso who brought the puck into the offensive zone. As LaRusso got to the top of the circle, he reversed and made a backhanded pass to a breaking Gendron. Gendron went to the net and slid the puck through Contey’s five hole to make it a 4 – 2 game.
With 3:07 left in the second, Strand cut the Knights deficit in half. Anthony Mastromonica brought the puck up through center ice and into the offensive zone on a two-on-one with Strand. As Mastromonica went to the net he turned and passed the puck over to Strand on his left and Strand one-timed it past Pugliese to make it a 4 – 3 game.
Kaljian scored his second goal of the game to tie the game at four with fifty-five seconds remaining in the middle stanza. Mastromonica picked up the loose puck in the near side corner and brought it up along the boards. Mastromonica passed it over to Liam Haslam at the top of the slot and Haslam took a shot that was saved by Pugliese but Kaljian knocked in the rebound to tie the game again.
Shane Haviland was called for tripping at 7:44 of the third period to give the Knights the man advantage. With time running down on the penalty kill, Cade Penney scored the game winner almost two minutes later. Currie took a shot that was blocked out front and Machlitt picked up the loose puck brought it up along the far side boards and into the offensive zone on a two-on-one with Penney. As Machlitt went to the slot he passed it over to Penney who redirected the biscuit past Contey to close out the scoring and make a 5 – 4 game.
Pugliese stopped 37 of 41 shots while Contey turned aside 42 of 47. Click here for the box score.
The Titans now will play the Northeast Generals for a two game series beginning tomorrow night at the Middletown Sports Complex.