Trailing 4 – 1 entering the third period, the visiting New Jersey Titans scored three unanswered goals to force the game into overtime and Tommy Bannister scored the Titans second goal in the shootout to give the Red Buckets a 5 – 4 win over the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks.
Danbury took an early lead just 2:49 into the game. The Tricks’ Jason Kleinhans picked up the loose puck at the top of the Titans far side faceoff circle and fanned on a shot, but the loose biscuit was picked up by teammate Shane Murphy. As Murphy started to skate towards the net, he made a cross-ice pass through the slot to Kleinhans who buried it past Titans netminder Christian Stoever to give Danbury a 1 – 0 lead.
With 8:39 remaining in the opening period, the Jr. Hat Tricks doubled their lead. Danbury’s Steven Spetz picked up the loose puck at the top of his own slot and pitch-forked it high into the air and into the Titans zone. As the Titans Caleb Price dove to swipe the puck towards the far side boards, Robert Hyde had to hurdle Price to pick up the loose puck at the end boards. Hyde then sent the puck back out to Mark D’Agostino at the top of the faceoff circle and D’Agostino made a 180 degree turn and took a snapshot that beat Stoever high glove side for his thirteenth goal of the season.
Danbury would make it 3 – 0 with 8:17 remaining in the second period. The Tricks Hunter McCurdy picked up the loose puck at his own far side half wall and made a cross-ice pass through the slot to Stephen Spentz at his own faceoff dot. Spentz made a long stretch pass through center ice to Alexi Van Houtte-Cachero just outside the Titans zone. Van Houtte-Cachero then walked in all alone on Stoever and deked the goalie to his right and lifted the puck up and over the fallen Titans netminder and into the back of the net for his third goal of the season.
The Titans finally got on the board with 4:35 left in the middle stanza. As a Jr. Hat Tricks penalty just expired, Nick Seitz picked up the loose puck at his own far side half wall and sent a cross-ice pass over to Caleb Price. Price head manned the puck up to Bannister along the near side boards. As Bannister gained the line, he made a cross-ice pass to Seitz. As Seitz reached the inside slash mark, he made a backdoor pass to Anthony Calafiore who redirected the puck past Danbury netminder Edvard Nordlund for his fifteenth goal of the season.
The Tricks regained their three-goal lead with 2:47 remaining in the second on D’Agostino’s second goal of the game. Nolan Barrett picked up the loose puck just outside his own blueline and sent a high bounce pass off the glass where it was picked up Gabe Dombrowski just outside the Titans zone. As Dombrowski gained the line on a 2-on-1, he went to pass the puck to D’Agostino on his left, but it was slowed down by Price, but it trickled off his right leg and directly to D’Agostino who took a wrist shot that beat Stoever to give Danbury the 4 – 1 lead.
The comeback began with 1:24 into the final period. The Titans started the third period on the powerplay when Danbury’s Porter Schachle was called for slashing with fifty-six seconds remaining in the middle stanza. Jake LaRusso picked up the loose puck behind the Hat Tricks net and sent it back to Cade Penney at the near side point, and Penney made a pass to Zach Nazzarett at the far side faceoff dot. Nazzarett immediately sent a cross-ice pass to Calafiore who flubbed a shot that was saved by Nordlund but the rebound came right out to Price who knocked it into the open net to make it a 4 – 2 game.
Seitz made it a one-goal deficit just thirty-six seconds later. Matt Doyle picked up the loose puck along his own near side half wall and sent a long pass into the Danbury zone. As the puck reached the crease, Bannister took a shot that was saved by Nordlund but Calafiore picked up the rebound, turned and sent the puck back to Seitz who buried the biscuit into the empty net to make it a 4 – 3 game.
Levente Keresztes tied the game with 2:08 remaining in regulation. After Seitz won the draw deep inside the Danbury zone, the puck went back to Keresztes at the top of the near side faceoff circle. Keresztes took a shot that went wide but bounced all the way back to Tyler Nasca at the far side point. Nasca took a shot that was blocked out front, but the rebound bounced behind the Tricks net where it was picked up by Bannister. As Bannister started to come out of the circle, he sent a pass back to Keresztes who easily tucked the puck into the open net past Nordlund short side.
After a scoreless overtime, the Tricks took a lead in the shootout, but Seitz tied it. Bannister then scored to give the Titans the lead and Stoever stopped Hyde to seal the victory.
Stoever stopped 33 of 37 shots while Nordlund turned aside 40 of 44. Click here for the box score.
The Titans now will close out their regular season this weekend as they travel to Attleboro, MA to play a pair of games against the Northeast Generals.