Defenseman Owen Luik scored thirty-one seconds into overtime last night to give the visiting Titans a 2 – 1 over the Northeast Generals to complete the weekend sweep between the teams.
It was the Titans fourth straight win. After staring the season 0 – 6, the reigning NAHL Robertson Cup champions have won eleven out of their last sixteen games to bring their record to 11 – 11.
Last night’s game and win was very much like Friday night’s contest. It was very entertaining with end to end action while Titans netminder Zak Brice (starting in his second straight game) and his Northeast counterpart Toby Hopp played extremely well to keep their respective team in the game.
After a scoreless opening forty minutes, Ben Muthersbaugh got the Titans on the board at 8:32 into the third period. Just thirty-one seconds prior Muthersbaugh’s goal, Northeast’s Jared Scott was called for hooking to give the Red Buckets the man advantage. With play inside the Generals end, the puck was wrapped around the near side boards where it was kept in the zone by Muthersbaugh at the point. Muthersbaugh sent it down low to Marcus Sang who was behind the net. As Sang went to the corner, he sent a return pass to Muthersbaugh who skated towards the end of the faceoff circle and took a wrist shot that beat Hopp short side for Muthersbaugh’s ninth goal of the season.
Northeast’s Sixten Jennersjo tied the game at one with 1:38 remaining in regulation. The Generals’ Ryan Schelling picked up the loose puck at center ice and went towards the near side boards. As Schelling gained the line, he cut towards the net and made a centering pass through the goalmouth that went off Jennersio’s skate and into the net for Jennersio’s sixth goal of the season.
As regulation ended tied at one, the contest went into overtime where the Titans were hoping to end the game early as they did on Friday night, and it almost happened – just twenty-one seconds later.
After Hopp made a save, the deep rebound came out to Friday night’s hero Dominik Bartecko at the top of the near side faceoff circle. Bartecko cut towards the middle and made a cross-ice pass to Anthony Calafiore. As Calafiore started to walk the line, he sent a pass to Luik at the far side boards. As Luik started to skate along the boards, he cut towards the net and took a sharp angle shot from the bottom of the faceoff circle that went through the five hole of Hopp to win the game. It was Luik’s first goal of the season.
Brice, who had a 1.50 goals against average and .948 save percentage in the two game back, stopped 28 of 29 shots while Hopp turned aside 30 of 32. Click here for the complete box score.
Next weekend the Titans will travel to Maryland to take on the East Division leading Black Bears for a two-game series. Maryland has won three of the four games played between them this season. The teams split the last series with the Titans winning the second game by a score of 6 – 2.