Marcus Sang and Michael Young each scored a hat trick while Tommy Bannister added two goals and Blake Farrell had a total of five points to a help lead the Titans to a 12 – 5 win over the visiting Maine Nordiques.
It was the second time in franchise history that the Titans have scored 12 goals in a game, the most they have ever scored. The last time the Titans lit the lamp for that many goals was back on March 3, 2017, when they defeated the Northeast Generals 12 – 6 at the Middletown Sports Complex.
Bannister started this offensive evening just 1:05 into the opening period. Anthony Calafiore (who had three points on the night) picked up the loose puck at his own far side half wall and passed it up to Bannister. Bannister, who himself had a hat trick in this past Wednesday’s game against Danbury, sent the biscuit up to Brendan Dumas. As Dumas gained the line, a Nordique defender poke checked the puck off him, but it went to Bannister, who was to the left of Dumas. Bannister took a shot from just inside the far side faceoff circle that beat Nordiques goaltender Gus Holt short side to make it a 1 – 0 game.
Maine tied it at 3:49 into the first period. As a Titans powerplay was about to expire, the Nordiques dumped the puck deep inside the New Jersey zone where it was picked up by Tyler Sanborn at the far side faceoff circle. Sanborn immediately passed it over to David Posma on his right. Posma went to send the puck up towards the far side boards, but it was intercepted by Maine’s Tristan Fasig at the top of the slot and Fasig walked in all alone on Titans netminder Andrew Takacs and beat his short side for his third goal of the season.
The Titans regained the lead at 7:32 on Dumas’ fourth goal of the season. After Bannister won the draw deep inside the Nordiques zone, the puck went right to Dumas who made the “Michigan” move with the puck through his legs and then beat a surprised Holt short side to make it 2 – 1.
The Red Buckets doubled their lead with 7:02 remaining in the first. Rocco Testa-Basi picked up the loose puck along the far side wall just outside the offensive zone. As he gained the line, he passed the puck to Young on his right who took a shot that beat Holt long side to make it a 3 – 1 game.
Maine cut their deficit in half with 5:22 remaining in the period. After a delay, the Titans won the draw at center ice and the puck went to Owen Luik at the bottom of the faceoff circle. Luik sent the biscuit back towards Sanborn, but as Sanborn went to pick up the puck, he fell, and the biscuit was picked up by Reese Farrell who went towards the net but was stopped by Takacs. After Takacs made the save, the rebound came right out to Aidan Connolly who beat Takacs short side to make it 3 – 2.
Stephen Willey received a game misconduct for spearing with 5:30 left in the first to give the Nordiques a five-minute powerplay. The Titans would score their third shorthanded goal of the season with 1:02 left in the period off of Bannister’s second goal of the contest. Sang picked up the loose puck at center ice along the near side boards and passed the puck to a breaking Bannister just outside the offensive zone. As Bannister gained the line, he cut across the goalmouth and went from his forehand to his backhand and slid the puck past Holt to give the Titans a two-goal lead.
Testa-Basi made it 5 – 2 with nine seconds remaining in the opening period. As the Nordiques five-minute powerplay had just expired, Testa-Basi blocked a shot at the top of the slot and he was able to pass the puck to Farrell on his right. As Farrell gained the line, he completely turned around and found Testa-Basi wide open in the slot. Testa-Basi then slid the puck through Holt’s five-hole for his third goal of the season.
Young, Sang and Justin Solovey scored to make it 8 – 2. The Nordiques attempted a comeback by scoring three straight goals but Sang scored two, Young and Farrell added goals to close out the scoring and make it a 12 – 5 game.
Takacs stopped 32 of 37 shots while Holt and Avery Sturtz combined to turn aside 40 of 52. Click here for the complete box score.
The two teams will finish their two-game series tonight at 7:00PM.