Brandon Perrone stopped 38 of 39 shots in a 2-1 victory over the Northeast Generals Saturday night at the New England Sports Village. The Long Island native is 2-1-0 since coming off an injury, and was dominant in the first of a two-game set against the Generals.
Tate Singleton and Ryan Naumovski got the goals for the Titans, who now improve to 14-11-2 and pull to within three points of the third-place Generals while having four games in hand.
Perrone made his first great save early in the first when the Generals forced a turnover in the Titan’s end. Matt Demelis made a pass to Justin Jallen in the low slot but Perrone went into the splits and made a glove save to keep the game scoreless.
The Titans went on the power play, and Tyler Antonucci made a pass across to Singleton, who scored on his second shot after his initial effort was blocked in front. The goal was Singleton’s eighth of the season and gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead.
Later in the period, Alex Cohen took the puck and drove to the net, but ended up ramming into Perrone after getting a shot off. The Titans’ goaltender was initially shaken up but remained in the game and drew a charging penalty on Cohen.
Naumovski put the Titans ahead 2-0 at 6:43 of the second period on an unusual bounce. Kyle Jeffers kicked the puck to Naumovski, as he tried to center it back to Nick Boyagian, but the pass hit a defender’s skate and trickled into the net for his seventh goal of the season. Gavin Gulash had a chance to put the Titans up by three, as Antonucci gave him a tape-to-tape pass to set up a tap-in, but David Fessenden somehow reached back with his stick to make the save.
Things got chippy in the third period as Holden Biebel and Joseph Nagle got in a scrap after Boyagian and Perunovich had a back-and-forth in a tie-up. New Jersey was assessed a five minute major in the ordeal, giving the Generals a lengthy power play.
Matt Wiesner cut the Generals’ deficit in half with a power-play tally at 7:46 of the period, as he shot a long-distance one-timer from the right point that beat Perrone for his 12th goal of the season.
New Jersey caught a break, however, as Kyler Head essentially killed off the rest of the Generals’ power play by drawing a holding call on Perunovich. He knocked a puck loose at the Titans’ blue line and nearly had a breakaway, but was hauled down by the Generals’ defender with 2:03 left on the major.
While the Titans were unable to generate any more goals, Perrone rose to the task by making several terrific saves in the waning minutes of the game. Ryan Bogan made a nifty pass to Matt Rutigliano that gave him a mini breakaway, but his shot was turned away by the stick of Perrone.
A few minutes later, Mike Egan had a two-on-one and set up Wiesner for a tap-in, but Perrone once again went into the splits to make an amazing save with the right pad. It was the last quality scoring chance for Northeast, as the Titans weathered the storm to secure the victory.
The Titans are now 5-4-0 against the Generals this season and will finish the two-game set tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. It will be the last of New Jersey’s stretch of seven consecutive road games and will be streamed on hockeytv.com.