Mitch Machlitt scored three goals, including two in the third period, to lead the Titans to a 7 – 5 win over the visiting Maine Nordiques. In all, it was a five-point game for the Maple Grove, MN native.
Mac Wiseman scored his fifth goal of the season at 9:50 into the first period to open the scoring for New Jersey. As Michael Outzen carried the puck up through the neutral zone and gained the line, he passed the puck to Machlitt on his left. Machlitt took a shot that was blocked out front, but the puck went into the near side corners where it was picked up by Outzen. Outzen sent it back to the point to Wiseman who took a clapper that beat Nordiques netminder Marco Duronio long side to make it 1 – 0.
Less then two minutes later, Gavin Gulash would double the Titans lead. Wiseman brought up the puck up along the near side boards and behind the Nordiques net. As he tried to make a centering pass, the puck went off the cage and back to Cade Penney at the far side blueline. Penney would bring the puck up along and around the boards. As he got slightly to the left of Maine’s net, he passed it to Kyle Jeffers out front who took a shot that was saved by Duronio but Gulash tucked in the rebound for his third goal of the season.
Kyler Head gave the Titans a 3 – 0 lead just 2:25 into the second period. Ole Andersen brought the puck out of his own zone and passed it up to Head who was waiting at the far side blue line. Head chipped the puck deep into the Nordiques zone where it as picked up by Cam Gendron. As Gendron circled behind Maine’s net, he passed the puck out front to Head who took a shot that was saved by Duronio but he couldn’t control the biscuit and Head knocked in his own rebound for his eleventh goal of the season.
Brody Medeiros was called for boarding at 9:15 of the second period to give Maine the man advantage. Less then a minute later Noah Kane got the Nordiques on the board. Maine’s Casper Söderling had the puck in the near side corners and passed it back to Trent Grimshaw at the top of the face off circle. Grimshaw sent a cross-ice pass to Kane who took a shot that went off Titans goalie Arseni Sergeev’s chest and into the net to make it 3 – 1 Titans.
Machlitt scored his first goal of the game with 3:54 left in the second. After Maine won the draw deep inside their own zone, the puck went back to Cale Dubrul. The Nordiques defenseman backhanded the puck high off the glass, but it hit a stanchion and took a funny bounce and dropped at the top of the faceoff circle where it was picked up by Outzen. Outzen sent a cross-ice pass over to Tyler Nielsen in the slot. Nielsen turned halfway around and passed the puck to a trailing Machlitt who buried the puck past Duronio to give the Titans a 4 – 1 lead.
Just nineteen seconds later, Isaiah Fox made it a 4 – 2 game. Fox brought the puck into the Titans zone and passed it over to Kane at the top of the far side faceoff circle. As Kane approached the net, he was unable to take a shot and passed the puck back into to the slot to Fox. While Fox was being knocked off the biscuit by Nielsen, Fox took an off balance shot that beat Sergeev for his eighth goal of the season.
Machlitt scored his second goal of the game with 8:28 remaining in the third period. After Duronio made a blocker save on Tyler Nasca, the puck was picked up by Fox at the near side corner. Fox sent the puck behind his own net to Cole Ouellette, who tried to turn but he was stripped off the puck by Outzen. Outzen passed the puck out to Machlett who buried a wrister past Duronio shot side to make it 5 – 2 Titans.
Then the fireworks began with the teams scoring a combined five goals in five minutes.
Cannon Green picked up a loose rebound and tucked it past Sergeev to make it a 5 – 3 game with 5:54 left in the third.
A minute later Outzen scored his eight goal of the season when he tucked in the loose rebound passed a sprawled out Duronio, who had just made a 10 bell save on Machlitt in close.
Leading 6 – 3 with 3:39 left in the game, Nick DeSantis was called for cross-checking to put the Nordiques on the power play. Twenty-four seconds later Sergeev was called for tripping to give Maine a 5 on 3 advantage.
Tim Kent beat Sergeev to cut the Titans lead to two with 2:57 after receiving a nice feed from Ouellette.
Still on the power play, Maine scored their third goal of the night with the man advantage to make it a 6 – 5 game. Green scored his second goal of the game after he picked up the rebound from a Dubrul shot that hit the post and Green put it past Sergeev to give the Nordiques a one goal deficit.
With under a minute to play, Maine chipped the puck into the Titans zone. While the puck was in the air, the Nordiques attempted to pull the goalie for the extra attacker. As the puck bounced into the Titans Andersen picked it up and head manned the biscuit up to Machlitt at center ice. Realizing that he had to get back to his net, Duronio wasn’t fast enough as Machlitt scored his third goal of the game to close out the scoring with fifty-one seconds left in the game.
Sergeev stopped 25 of 30 shots while Duronio turned aside 33 of 40. Click here for the box score.
The two teams will close out their weekend series tonight at 7:00 PM at the Middletown Sports Complex. Any fan who brings a non-perishable food item will receive $3 off an adult ticket with all donations going to Lunch Break of Red Bank. Immediately following the game will be Skate Night with the Titans.