Mitch Matchlitt scored two goals and Kyle Jeffers had a goal and an assist to lead the visiting New Jersey Titans to a 7 – 3 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights in a matinee game this afternoon at the Revolution Ice Centre. It was the Titans eight straight win. It also was the first of three consecutive contests between the two teams.
Defenseman Tyler Nasca opened the scoring for the Titans just 2:22 in the first period. With the puck at the far side blueline, Nasca took a shot on net that went wide but was picked up by Shane Haviland along the near side boards. Haviland sent a pass down low to Jeffers who immediately sent the puck out in the slot to a wide open Nasca who redirected the biscuit past Knights goaltender Zach Stejskal to give the Titans an early 1 – 0 lead.
Thirty seconds later, WBS’ Beck Moore was called for slashing to give the Titans the man advantage. Jeffers would bring the puck up through the neutral zone and pass it to Gavin Gulash to his left. As Gulash gained the line, he passed the puck over to Josef Glamos on his right. As Glamos skated to the near side faceoff dot, he passed the puck back to Gulash who took a snap shot that was saved by Stejskal but the deep rebound came out to Jeffers who tucked the loose puck into the back of the net to give the Titans an early 2 – 0 lead.
At 8:07 of the first, Matt Cameron made it a 3 – 0 game. Michael Outzen took a wrister on net that was easily gloved by Stejskal for what appeared to be a stoppage of play, but Stejskal played the puck off the far side boards where it was picked up by teammate Spencer Evans. Evans went to pass the puck out front, but it was intercepted by Kyler Head who took a shot that was saved by Stejskal, but Cameron slammed home the rebound for his seventh goal of the season.
With 3:10 left in the first, the Knights would get on the board with Tyrone Bronte’s fourth goal on the year. Lincoln Hatten would bring the puck up to center ice and pass it to a breaking Bronte on his left. Bronte skated along the far side boards and cut across the goal mouth and slid the puck past a sprawling Patrick Pugliese to make it a 3 – 1 game.
The Titans would score their fourth goal of the game on a penalty shot just fifty seconds into the middle stanza. After Pugliese made a glove save, he sent the puck up the far side boards to Machlitt who sent a bounce pass up to Matthew Iasenza. As the Titans forward went to the net he was tripped up and a penalty shot was called. Iasenza went to the net and first went forward to backhand and slid the puck through Stejskal’s five hole to give the Titans a 4 – 1 lead.
Three minutes later Chris Garbe would make it a 5 – 1 game then Machlitt would score his first of the game to make it 6 – 1.
The Knights tried mounting a comeback with two goals in the beginning of the third but Machlitt put the game out of reach for his second goal of the game to close out the scoring.
Pugliese stopped 35 of 38 shots while WBS’ netminders combined to turn aside 33 of 40. Click here for the box score.
The two teams will meet this weekend for a home-and-home series with Friday night’s game being played the Revolution Ice Centre.