Special Teams help lead Titans to 4 – 2 win over Tomahawks

Feb 27, 2021

Evan Werner scored two powerplay goals and Anthony Calafiore scored shorthanded to lead the Titans to a 4 – 2 win over the visiting Johnstown Tomahawks. It was the Titans sixth win out of their seven games, and second straight over Johnstown.

With 3:15 remaining in the opening period, Johnstown’s Max Neill was called for tripping to give the Titans the man advantage. As time was running out on the powerplay, Werner put the Red Buckets on the board. After Nick Seitz won the draw just outside the Tomahawks zone, the puck went back to Caleb Price at his own far side blueline and the veteran defenseman passed it over to Blake Humphrey who passed the biscuit up to Jake LaRusso along the near side boards. LaRusso looked to his left and make a quick pass to Werner who snuck passed the Johnstown defenders and walked in all alone on Tomahawks goalie Sam Evola and beat the netminder just above his shoulder to make it a 1 – 0 game.

At 8:15 into the second period Johnstown forward Brendan Clark was called for boarding to put New Jersey back on the powerplay. Less then a minute later Werner gave the Titans a two-goal lead. With the Titans setting up in the offensive zone, Seitz had the puck at the far side faceoff dot and sent a cross-ice pass that Werner fanned on, but he was able to pick up the loose puck and send it back to Price at the point. Price passed the biscuit to Humphrey on his right who sent a return pass to Price. Price passed it over to Seitz again at the far side faceoff dot. Unlike the previous attempt, Seitz make another cross-ice pass to Werner who wristed the puck past Evola for his seventeenth goal of the season – which puts the Flower Mound, TX native in a three-way tie for most goals in the North American Hockey League.

Midway through the third period, Jake Suede was called for interference to give the Tomahawks the man advantage. With time winding down on the powerplay and setting up in the offensive zone, Johnstown’s Will Margel had the puck at the top of the point and took a shot that was blocked by Calafiore, but the loose puck immediately came back to Margel who took a shot that was deflected out front by Anthony Mastromonica and past Titans netminder Christian Stoever to make it a 2 – 1 game.

Matthew Iasenza was called for slashing with 3:41 remaining in the period to put the Tomahawks back on the powerplay. With 2:30 left in the game, Calafiore gave the Titans a 3 – 1 lead. As Johnstown’s Holt Oliphant brought the puck into the offensive zone, he took a shot that was saved by Stoever but the netminder played the puck and sent an outlet pass up along the far side boards where it was picked up by Calafiore at the half wall and he skated down the ice on a 2 – on – 1 with Seitz. As Calafiore gained the line, he sent a pass over a Johnstown defender to Seitz in the slot. The Princeton University commit sent a return pass to Calafiore who one-timed it past Evola for his ninth goal of the season.

Despite allowing their league high tenth shorthanded goal, the Tomahawks were still on the man advantage. Forty-five seconds after Calafiore gave the Titans a two-goal lead, Johnstown’s William Persson scored to make it a one-goal game. With time about to expire on the powerplay, the Tomahawks John Gelatt battled for the puck in the far side corner and sent a pass back to Persson at the top of the faceoff circle and he took a low line shot that found its way through a maze and past Stoever for his third goal of the season.

Suede scored an empty net goal with :47 left in the game to close out the scoring and make it a 4 – 2 game.

Both goaltenders played extremely well with Stoever turning aside 41 of 43 shots while Evola stopped 28 of 30. Click here for the box score.

The two team will close out their series tonight at 7:00 PM at the Middletown Sports Complex. Limited seating is available and can be purchased by clicking here.