The visiting Titans scored four, second period goals en route to a 5 – 3 win over the division leading Maryland Black Bears last night at Piney Orchard Arena in game one of this weekend’s two-game series.
It was the Black Bears first loss at home this season.
With Maryland’s Branden Piku off for tripping at 9:32 of the first period, the Black Bears’ Dimitry Kebreau opened the scoring a minute later. With play just inside the Maryland zone, Michael Young was stripped of the puck by Kebreau at the blueline, and Kebreau skated through center ice and walked in all alone on Titans netminder Zak Brice and Kebreau beat Brice down low to make it a 1 – 0 game.
The Titans then scored two goals a minute and a half part to start the second period to take a 2 – 1 lead beginning at 4:21 of the middle stanza off the stick of Dartmouth commit Eric Charpentier. With play inside the Black Bears zone along the far side wall, Marcus Sang blocked a Maryland clearing pass and the puck bounced off Sang’s leg and right to Reece Brednich. As Brednich skated towards the net, he made a centering pass out front that went off the stick of Ben Muthersbaugh and right to Charpentier in the slot, and Charpentier took a wrist shot that beat Black Bears goalie William Hakansson low, short side to make it a 1 – 1 game. It was Charpentier’s second goal of the season.
A minute and a half later the Titans took their first lead of the night. Anthony Calafiore picked up the loose puck behind the Maryland cage and passed it to Tyler Sanborn who was skating towards the near side corner. As Sanborn went behind the net, he passed the biscuit to Dominik Bartecko who was to the left of the net. Bartecko made a cross-ice pass through the slot to Owen Luik who redirected the puck past Hakansson and into the net to give the Titans the 2 – 1 lead. It was Luik’s second goal of the season.
Maryland’s Christian Catalano knotted the score at two at 9:33 into the middle stanza. After Maryland won the draw at their own near side faceoff circle, the puck was rimmed around the boards where it was picked up by the Black Bears’ Kaleb Tiessen at the far side half wall. Tiessen found a breaking Catalano at center ice and Catalano walked in all alone on Brice. As Catalano reached the goalmouth, he deked around Brice and backhanded the puck up and over the fallen Titans netminder and into the net for Catalano’s twentieth goal of the season.
The Titans regained the lead with 7:52 remaining in the second on Muthersbaugh’s tenth goal of the season. With a scrum along the Black Bears end wall, Muthersbuagh picked up the loose puck at the near side corner and sent a pass back to Leo Schwartz at the far side point. Schwartz wristed the puck from the top of the faceoff circle that was saved by Hakansson but the rebound came right out to Muthersbaugh on the door step and Muthersbuagh backhanded into the net to make it a 3 – 2 game.
With 6:02 remaining in the period, Catalano was called for a double minor high sticking call to give the Titans a four-minute man advantage. Slightly over two minutes later the Titans took a two-goal lead. Charpentier picked up the loose puck along the far side boards in his own zone and passed it to Levente Keresztes at his own blueline. As Keresztes started skating through center ice, he passed it to Michael Young at the far side blueline. As Young gained the line, he made a pass from the top of the faceoff circle down low to Keresztes who simply redirected it past Hakansson for the Budapest, Hungry native’s seventh goal of the season.
Hunter Ramos brought the Black Bears within one at 7:51 of the third period to make it a 4 – 3 game but Young scored off the draw with 1:25 remaining in the game to close out the scoring.
Brice, who has played extremely well in the past three games, turned aside 31 of 34 shots in the win while Hakansson stopped 18 of 23 in the loss. Click here for the complete box score.
It was the Titans fifth straight win (and twelfth out of their last seventeen) to put them over the .500 mark for the first time this season.
Game two of this two-game series will be played at 7:30PM this evening.