The visiting Maine Nordiques scored two, third period goals to down the Titans 3 – 2 which gives Maine a 2 to 1 advantage in this best of five Robertson Cup East Division Semi-Final series.
The Titans got on the board first with 1:13 remaining in the opening period. As Maine’s Isaiah Fox entered the Titans zone, he was knocked off the puck by David Posma and Jack Karlsson picked up the loose biscuit in his own slot and made an outlet pass to Josh Rule just over the center ice line. As Rule entered the offensive zone, he took a shot from the high slot that was blocked out front. While Rule was falling to the ice, he had the wherewithal to take a swipe at the puck that went high into the air and over the outstretched arm of Nordiques goaltender Tyriq Outen to make it a 1 – 0 game.
The Nordiques would tie the game just 1:36 into the second period. Maine’s Tyler Gaulin dumped the puck into the Titans far side corner where it was picked up by the Nordiques’ Patrick Schmiedlin. Schmiedlin started to skate behind the Titans net, but he was knocked off the puck by Evan Werner. As Schmiedlin was falling to his knees, he made a centering pass out front to Reese Farrell who took a wrist shot that beat Titans netminder Christian Stoever glove side to knot the score.
Two minutes later the Titans regained the lead on Werner’s first goal of the playoffs. After Stoever made a save on Maine’s Caden Pattison, the loose puck was picked up by Anthony Calafiore at the far side half wall and he passed it up to Jake LaRusso. As LaRusso entered the offensive zone, he started to move towards the net and then made a beautiful cross-ice pass to Werner who one-timed it passed Outen.
Maine then tied it just 2:26 into the third period. With the play behind the Titans net, Pattison tried to make a centering pass out front, but it was blocked, and the puck bounced to Aidan Connolly at the point. As Connolly picked up the biscuit, he turned to shield it from a Titan and Connolly passed it Andrew Noel on his right. As Noel skated down the far side corner, he cut towards the net and made a centering pass to Tristan Fasig who was left all alone in the slot and Fasig beat Stoever to make it a 2 – 2 game.
Matthew Iasenza received a double roughing penalty at 5:42 into the period to give the Nordiques the man advantage. A minute and sixteen seconds later the Nordiques’ Luke Antonacci scored the game winner. After a shot went off Fox’s leg in the slot, the puck bounced to the far side half wall where it was picked up by Cannon Green. Green sent the puck around the end boards and retrieved by Stefan Owens, who was to the right of Stoever. Green passed the puck back to Antonacci at the point who took a wrist shot that found its way through a maze and past Stoever to give the Nordiques the 3 – 2 win.
Stoever, who played exceptional again, stopped 37 of 40 shots while Outen turned aside 24 of 26. Click here for the box score.
Game four will be held tonight at 7:00 PM at the Middletown Sports Complex. Should the Titans win, a fifth and deciding game will take place 7:00 PM on Sunday, May 30 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee.