Mitch Machlitt scored New Jersey’s lone goal in a shootout to give the visiting Titans a 6 – 5 victory over the Johnstown Tomahawks last night to split the weekend series.
After a scoreless first, the Tomahawks would take a 1 – 0 lead just 1:13 into the middle stanza. Just as the Titans powerplay was ending, Johnstown intercepted an errant Titans pass and entered the offensive zone on a three-on-one. Forward Carson Gallagher took a shot that was saved by Titans netminder Arseni Sergeev but the deep rebound came out to Noah Basarab who lifted the puck into the back of the net over the prone Sergeev.
The Titans then would score three consecutive goals within fifty-one seconds. Matt Cameron intercepted a pass at center ice and skated towards the Tomahawks net. He took a shot that was saved by Johnstown’s goalie Alex Tracy but Tyler Nielsen tucked in the rebound to tie the game at one at 7:07 into the second. It was Nielsen’s first goal of the season.
Eighteen seconds later Chris Garbe scored his second goal of the season. After the draw, the puck would go into the Titans zone and up around the near side boards where it was picked up by Cade Penney who sent an outlet pass to Garbe on his right. As Garbe entered the offensive zone, he crisscrossed with Machlitt who skated towards the far side faceoff circle. Machlitt sent a return backhand pass to Garbe in the slot and the forward redirected the puck through Tracy’s five hole to give the Titans a 2 – 1 lead.
Immediately following the draw Johnstown’s Ethan Webb was called for high sticking to give the Titans the man advantage. As Mac Wiseman skated over center ice, he dumped the puck into the offensive zone behind the Tomahawks net and up along the far side boards where it was picked up by Cameron who sent a bounce pass back to Wiseman at the point. Wiseman skated to the top of the circle and took a wrist shot that beat Tracy’s glove hand to give the Titans a 3 – 1 advantage.
The Tomahawks would cut the deficit in half with 5:12 left in the second. Johnstown’s Sean Bauchens picked up the loose puck in the neutral zone and skated down the far side boards. As he entered the offensive zone Bauchens sent a stretch pass to a Bennett Stockdale on his right. Stockdale outskated the Titans defenders and walked in all alone on Sergeev and beat him with a wrister to close the gap to one.
Oli Andersen was called for hooking at 3:58 into the third period to put the Tomahawks on the powerplay. As time was winding down with the man advantage, Christian Gorscak received a pass at the top of the near side faceoff circle. Gorscak skated back towards the top of the slot and took a shot that was blocked by Cameron, but the puck went right back to Gorscak who immediately sent it over to Quinn Warmuth at the point. Warmuth took a one-timer that found its way through a screen to beat Sergeev to tie the game at three.
Johnstown would regain the lead with 8:49 remaining in the third. Jesse Lycan won the draw in the Titans zone and the puck went back to Matthew Doyle at the near side point. The Hawks defender took a slapshot that was redirected out front and past Sergeev to give the Tomahawks a 4 – 3 advantage.
Nicholas Martino was called for hooking with 7:16 left in the third to put the Titans back on the powerplay. Michael Outzen would set up the play by sending the puck down to Machlitt at the near side faceoff dot. With the lanes being clogged, Machlitt sent a pass back to Andersen at the top of the point. Andersen sent a return pass to Machlitt who took a wrist shot that beat Tracy long side to tie the game at four.
With 2:36 remaining in the third, the Titans were called for too many men on the ice. Outzen would win the draw deep inside the New Jersey zone and send the puck up along the far side boards where it was picked up by Cam Gendron. As Gendron skated down the boards he started to cut towards the Johnstown net. He deek around a Tomahawks defender and then slid the puck through Tracy’s five hole to give the Titans the 5 – 4 lead with 2:27 left in the game. This was truly a highlight reel goal!
The Tomahawks, however, were still on the powerplay. With time winding down on the powerplay and in the game, Gorscak skated out of his own zone and up along the far side boards. He circled behind the Titans net and sent a pass through the goal mouth and Gallagher jammed the puck past Sergeev to knot that score at five and send the game into overtime. It was the first time this season that the Titans would go to the extra period.
After a scoreless overtime, it would go to a shootout where Machlitt was the only one of six shooters to score to give the Titans a 6 – 5 victory. With the win, the Titans improve to 6 – 2.
Sergeev stopped 24 of 29 shots while Tracy turned aside 25 of 30. Click here for the box score.
The Titans will travel to Northeast next weekend to play two games against the Generals.