Jack Ring and Matthew Doyle scored in the first period to help lead the visiting New Jersey Titans to a 4 – 1 win over the Maine Nordiques. The Robertson Cup East Division Semi-Finals is now even at one with the series moving to the Middletown Sports Complex.
Ring scored the Titans first goal of the playoffs at 6:27 into the opening period. Maine’s Hunter Carrick kept the puck in the Titans zone along the far side boards and took a shot on net that was blocked out front, but the puck went back to the blueline where it was kept in by the Nordiques Joey Foss. As Foss started to move to his right, Ring poke checked the puck off Foss’ stick, and skated in all along on a breakaway and beat Maine’s netminder Tyriq Outen through the five hole to give the Titans their first lead of the series.
Doyle doubled the Titans lead with 6:08 remaining in the first period. After Nick Seitz brought the puck into the offensive zone, he passed it over to Zach Nazzarett on his right. Nazzarett sent a return pass to Seitz who went towards the back of the Nordiques cage. As Seitz started to go behind the net, he made a centering pass out front that was tipped and rolled out to Ring at the far side point. Ring skated towards the top of the faceoff circle, turned, and passed the puck to Matthew Iasenza in the high slot. Iasenza found Doyle breaking towards the net and the veteran NAHL defenseman took a wrist shot that beat Outen long side for his first career playoff goal.
Maine’s Connon Green cut the Titans lead in half with 1:21 remaining in the second period. After the Nordiques Stefan Owens’ won the draw deep inside the Titans zone, the puck went back to Cooper Swift at the far side point. Swift took a low, long shot that was saved by Christian Stoever but the rebound came right out to Green and he slid the puck into the net to make it a 2 – 1 game.
The Titans regained their two-goal lead just 1:16 into the third period. Brad Zona picked up the loose puck behind his own net and passed it up to Nazzarett at the far side blueline. As Nazzarett entered the neutral zone, he found a breaking Seitz on his left and Seitz split two Nordiques defenders and walked in all alone on Outen and he beat the Maine goaltender through the five hole for his first goal of the game.
With timing winding down in regulation and Outen pulled for the extra attacker, Anthony Calafiore blocked a shot from Maine’s Isaiah Fox and the loose puck was picked up by Seitz just inside his own blueline and the Princeton University commit skated towards the other end of the ice and deposited the puck into the empty net to close out the scoring.
Stoever, who has played outstanding in these two games, turned aside 33 of 34 shots while Outen has stopped 18 of 22. Click here for the box score.
The series now becomes a best of three with games 3 and 4 being played at the Middletown Sports Complex on Thursday, May 27 and Friday, May 28 respectively. Both games start at 7:00 PM.