The visiting Titans defeated the Maryland Black Bears 3 – 0 at Piney Orchard Arena last night to complete a critical two-game sweep between the teams. With the win, the first place Titans extend their lead to six points over the second place Black Bears in the East Division standings.
It was the Titans fifth straight win, and the second shutout on the season for the team and netminder Andrew Takacs.
Levente Keresztes scored his second goal of the weekend to open the scoring at 8:57 into the first period. Maryland’s Aidan McDowell was called for tripping at 8:16 of the period to give the Titans the man advantage. Forty-one seconds later Keresztes would score the only goal the Red Buckets really needed.
Ryan Coughlin kept the puck in the offensive zone at the far side blueline and made a cross-ice pass to Nick Ring at the top of the faceoff circle. Ring sent the puck back to David Posma at the top of the point who made a return pass to Ring. Ring turned and found Keresztes left all along down low and to the left of the Black Bears net and the Budapest, Hungry native took a shot that beat Maryland’s goaltender Luca Di Pasquo long side for Keresztes tenth goal of the season.
Anthony Mollica doubled the Titans lead with 6:12 left in the second period. Eric Charpentier blocked a Black Bears shot at the top of his own slot and passed the puck up to Anthony Calafiore breaking down the near side boards. As Calafiore gained the line, he took a shot that Di Pasquo save with his blocker, but the deep rebound went to Mollica at the far side half wall and the Titans defenseman took a clapper that beat Di Pasquo long side for his eighth goal of the season.
Michael Young scored an empty net goal with 1:05 remaining in the game to close out the scoring.
Takacs, who played spectacular all weekend having stopped 57 of 58 shots in the two games, turned aside all 25 shots he faced while Di Pasquo stopped 27 of 29 shots. Click here for the box score.
“I’m proud of our guys on a great weekend effort” said Titans head coach and general manager Craig Doremus. “The guys worked hard all week in preparation for an important weekend series. I am happy they were rewarded for their hard work and commitment. We now have to shift our focus to a big weekend in Maine” concluded Doremus.
The Titans will leave on Thursday for Maine to play a two-game series against the Nordiques starting Friday, February 25.