Entering the third period tied at two, the visiting Maryland Black Bears scored three unanswered goals to defeat the Titans 5 – 2 and complete the weekend sweep between the teams. It was the Titans sixth straight loss.
After not having scored a goal in seven periods, the Titans were finally able to break the drought and get on the scoreboard at 5:46 in the first period to take a 1 – 0 lead. After Maryland’s Luke Mountain dumped the puck into center ice, it was picked up by Matt Doyle who immediately passed it to Brad Zona on his left. Zona head manned the puck to a breaking Zach Nazzarett who walked in all alone and beat Black Bears netminder Hannes Kollen long side for his eighth goal of the season.
The Titans lead was short lived because forty seconds later Maryland’s Josh Nixon tied the game at one. With the teams battling for the puck in the far side corner of the Titans zone, Black Bears forward Hunter McCoy was able get the puck loose and send the biscuit back to Nixon who was at the bottom of the faceoff dot. Nixon took a sharp angle shot that beat Titans’ goalie Louden Hogg long side for his eighth goal of the season.
Thirty-one seconds into the middle stanza McCoy gave the Black Bears the lead. Maryland’s Branden Piku kept the puck in the Titans zone along the near side half wall and took a shot on net that deflected off the back of teammate Reid Leibold’s back and the puck bounced to the top of the slot where McCoy took a one-timer that beat Hogg for his twelfth goal of the season.
Matthew Iasenza tied the game at two at 3:31 into the second period. After Anthony Calafiore won the draw deep inside the Maryland zone, the puck went back to Austin Cook at the far side point. Cook passed it over to Jack Karlsson on his left. Karlsson took a shot that went wide of the net, but Jack Ford picked up the rebound off the end boards and made a centering pass out front to Iasenza who buried the biscuit past Kollen for his seventh goal of the season.
Maryland regained the lead with 9:28 remaining in the game. Piku picked up the loose puck at center ice and dumped it into the Titans zone and behind their net. As Hogg went to retrieve the puck off the end boards, the biscuit bounced over his stick to Leibold who was to the right of the cage and Leibold passed it over to a wide-open Brad McNeil in the slot and McNeil wristed the puck into the open net to make it a 3 – 2 game.
Less then a minute later, Maryland took a two-goal lead. With a scrum occurring in the Titans near side corner, the puck came back to Black Bears defenseman Philip Tornqvist at the top of the faceoff circle and he passed it over to McCoy on his right. McCoy skated towards his left and took a shot that was saved by Hogg, but he wasn’t able to control the rebound and the puck got behind him where Quinn Kennedy tapped it into the open net for his first goal of the season.
Maryland’s Sean Kilcullen closed out the scoring with an empty net goal with twenty-nine seconds remaining in the game to make it 5 – 2.
Hogg stopped 23 of 27 shots while Kollen turned aside 19 of 21. Click here for the box score.
The Titans now have ten games remaining in the regular season. Next weekend they will travel to Maine to play the Nordiques for a two-game series.