ASTON, Pa. – It took until the third period for either team to crack the score sheet as the Titans accomplished something no road team could do – beat the Rebels at IceWorks.
The game pace was fast and hard hitting from the get-go, but both goaltenders held their respective opponents at bay. Rebels goaltender Darion Hanson made several spectacular saves to keep the Titans off the board. Meanwhile, his counterpart Jack Berry put in a solid effort between the pipes.
The Rebels outshot the Titans in the first period by 10-9 margin despite having a more than two-minute 5-on-3 power play. The two-man advantage came after Aston’s captain, defenseman Kristofers Bindulis was assessed a four-minute double minor and game misconduct for butt-ending.
The second period saw the same quick pace but still no goals after some missed opportunities for both teams.
Then just 52 seconds into the third period, the lamp was finally lit. After a tie-up off the draw that appeared to be controlled by Aston, the puck found the stick of Bruno Birzitis. Victor Ostling was waiting for it just outside the crease and snuck the puck through the legs of Hanson.
Less than two minutes later, Tony DiVito stretched New Jersey’s lead to two with his first goal as a Titan. DiVito now has five points in the last three games since joining the team from the Minnesota Wilderness.
Andrew Durham’s empty netter at 18:31, his third goal of the season, sealed the victory for the Titans.
With the win, the Titans now lead the East Division over Aston by five points. They will remain in first place no matter the result tomorrow night.
Berry stopped all 26 shots thrown his way. It was also his third shutout of the season while Hanson was saddled with his first loss of the season in eight starts.