Alex D’Angelo scored a pair of goals to help lead the visiting New Jersey Titans to a 4 – 3 victory over the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks. The win enabled the Titans to split the opening weekend series between the teams and earn their first of the season.
The Titans took a 1 – 0 lead at 7:11 of the opening period on one of the craziest goals you will ever see. After a scrum along the near side half wall in the Titans zone, D’Angelo picked up the loose puck and skated over the red line and dumped it into the Danbury zone for a line change. As the puck hit the end boards, it took a lively bounce and hit the back of the skate of Jr. Hat Tricks goalie Josh Seeley and into the net.
Shortly after the goal, D’Angelo was called for tripping to put the Hat Tricks on the power play. With time winding down with the extra attacker, Danbury’s Sean Courtmanche poked the puck into the Titans zone where it was picked up by Alex Krause. As Krause skated towards the faceoff dot, he tried to pass it to Cody Hoban on his right but it hit Matt Doyle’s skate and Krause picked up the loose puck and took a shot that was saved by Titans netminder Louden Hogg but the rebound came out to Mark D’Agostino who put it past Hogg to tie the game at one.
The Titans would then score three straight goals with the first one coming with one second remaining in the first period.
With the Titans pressuring in the Danbury zone, Nick Seitz picked up the loose puck at the far side half wall and tried to make a center pass, but it was blocked by a Hat Tricks defender. The puck immediately came out to Tyler Nasca who took a shot that was blocked in front of the net but the puck came out to Anthony Calafiore who lifted the puck past a prone Seeley and into the open net to give the Titans a 2 – 1 lead.
Nasca would double the Titans lead just 5:45 into the second period. Matthew Iasenza, who played extremely well all weekend, picked up the loose puck at center ice and brought it into the Danbury zone. Iasenza found a breaking Seitz on his left. As Seitz went towards the left of the Hat Tricks net, he stopped, turned and passed it back to Nasca in the slot and the Wheatfield, NY native buried it past Seeley to make it a 3 – 1 game.
Two minutes later D’Angelo would score his second goal of the game. After a Danbury shot hit the crossbar behind Hogg, the puck went into the far side corner and up along the boards where it was picked up by Joe Schubert. Schubert brought the puck up through center ice and entered the Hat Tricks zone on a 3 on 1. As Schubert reached the faceoff dot, he took a shot that was saved by Seeley, but the puck trickled through his five hole and D’Angelo tucked it in to give the Titans a 4 – 1 lead.
With 2:20 left in the second, Jack Ford was called for Tripping to put Danbury back on the power play. With Danbury pressuring down low in the Titans zone, they pulled Seeley for a sixth skater. As the puck was about to exit the New Jersey zone, the Tricks Jake Veri barely kept the biscuit in the zone and passed it over to Valentino Passarelli on his right. Passarelli sent the puck back to Spencer Evans at the top of the point and he took a wrist shot that found its way through a screen and past Hogg to cut the Titans lead in half.
At 5:14 into the third, Danbury made the game more interesting. After a Titans turnover in their own zone, the puck went to the end boards behind Hogg where it was picked up by the Tricks Luke Wheeler. As Wheeler skated towards the far side faceoff dot, he turned and took a quick shot that was saved by Hogg but the rebound came out to Krause who slid the puck through Hogg’s pads and into the net to make it a 4 – 3 game.
Hogg turned aside 30 of 33 shots while Seeley stopped 30 of 34. Click here for the box score.
“It was a good response by our team this evening” stated Titans head coach Craig Doremus. “We are doing a lot of learning each day and we saw some improvement over night. We are far away from where we need to be but we are taking it day by day to get better and continue to mature. Three points on the road in this division is no small task so we are happy with it and look forward to getting back to work on Monday” concluded Doremus.