Mitch Machlitt’s goal with 2:31 left in overtime gave the Titans a thrilling 4 – 3 victory over the visiting Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. It was New Jersey’s third straight win over WBS, and it was the Titan’s tenth straight victory.
The Titans took the early lead just 2:25 into the opening period on Josef Glamos’ fifth goal on the season. Shane Haviland brought the puck up out of his zone and send a bounce pass off the far side boards where it was picked up by Christ Garbe. As the co-captain skated towards the bottom of the faceoff circle, he sent a pass out front to a breaking Glamos who one-timed it past Knights goalie Alex Contey to make it 1 – 0 Titans.
Unlike the previous two games against WBS where the Titans would double their lead, the Knights tied the game with 7:25 left in the first. As a Titans’ defender went to clear the puck high off the glass, it hit a stanchion and bounced back to the Knight’s Lincoln Hatten in the far side corner. Hatten passed the puck out front to Tyrone Bronte who redirected it passed Titans goalie Patrick Pugliese to make it 1 – 1.
The Titans would regain the lead with 6:04 left in the middle stanza. Danny Dimon would set up the play in his own zone pass the puck up to Cade Penney at center ice, who in turn sent it up to Gavin Gulash at the blue line. Gulash turned halfway to his right and passed the biscuit over to a breaking Matt Cameron, who skated towards the net on a semi-breakaway. As Cameron went towards the goal mouth, he went from his forehand to his backhand and lifted the puck past Contey to give the Titans a 2 – 1 lead.
Two minutes later Tyler Nasca was called for tripping to give the Knights the man advantage. It lasted only fifteen seconds. Egor Postnov set up the play from the top of the near side blue line and sent the puck to Hatten at the faceoff circle. Hatten passed the puck down low to Bronte who immediately sent it to Jeffrey Bertrand in the slot and Bertrand beat Pugliese short side to tie the game a two with 3:48 left in the second.
Machlitt would give the Titans their third lead of the game on his first of the night at 5:16 of the third period. The Maple Grove, MN native picked up the loose puck at center ice and skate up along the far side boards. As he got to the faceoff dot, he took a wrister that beat Contey long side to make it 3 – 2 Titans.
Caydon Meyer would tie the game at three with 5:23 left in regulation. After Pugliese made the save, the rebound came out to a Titans defender who skated behind his own net, reversed and sent the puck up along the far side boards where it was stopped by Meyer at the blue line. Meyer threw the puck on net, but it found its way through a screen to beat Pugliese short side to tie the game at three.
After regulation ended tie at three, the Knights’ Jordan Strand was called for holding just thirty-three seconds into overtime to give the Titans the man advantage. With only four seconds remaining on the power play, Machlitt ended the game. Brody Medeiros took a shot from the top of the slot that was saved by Contey but the deep rebound came out to Michael Outzen at the near side boards. Outzen passed the puck back to Medeiros at point. The Titans captain found Machlitt down low and Machlitt one-timed it and the puck went off Contey’s blocker and trickled into the back of the net to win the game.
Pugliese stopped 23 of 26 shots while Contey turned aside 28 of 32. Click here for the box score.
The Titans now will have a week off and resume play on Friday, November 15 for a two-game series against the Maryland Black Bears at the Middletown Sports Complex.