Northeast’s Ryan Gordon scored twenty-one seconds into overtime to give the visiting Generals a 5 – 4 win over the Titans. Stephen Willey had a pair of goals in the loss for the Red Buckets.
The Titans took a two-goal lead with under five minutes remaining in the first period. Willey opened the scoring with 3:32 left for his ninth goal of the season. Marcus Sang picked up the loose puck at the top of his own far side faceoff circle and headmanned it up to Blake Farrell. As Farrell gained the offensive zone line, he passed the biscuit to Willey on his left. Willey took a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle that went off the far side pad of Northeast’s goaltender Cullen DeYoung and into the net for a 1 – 0 lead.
Less than a minute later, Anthony Calafiore doubled the Titans lead. Tyler Sanborn intercepted a Generals’ outlet pass at the top of the Northeast’s blueline. The Titan’s defenseman stepped up and made a centering pass to Calafiore in the slot, and Calafiore took a backhand shot that beat DeYoung for Calafiore’s fifteenth goal of the season.
The Generals then scored three straight goals to a take a 3 – 2 lead starting at 4:28 into the second period. As a Northeast powerplay was expiring, the Generals’ Jackson McCarthy had the biscuit in the Titans far side corner. As McCarthy started to skate up the wall, he made a center pass out front to David Tolan who deked around and towards the left of Titans goalie Andrew Takacs and slid the puck into the net to make it a 2 – 1 game.
Brendan Dumas received a four-minute penalty and Jack Karlsson received a two-minute infraction with 5:14 left in the middle stanza to give the Generals a 5 on 3 advantage. Less than a minute later the game was tied. Gordan brought the puck out of his own zone and through center ice. As he gained the offensive zone line, the passed the puck to Tolan on his right. Tolan sent a return pass to Gordan who went behind the Titans net. As Gordan started to circle the cage to Takacs’ right, Gordan took a sharp angel shot that that beat Takacs glove side for Gordon’s eleventh goal of the season.
With 3:20 left in the second, Northeast took their first lead of the game. Still on the powerplay and pressuring in the offensive zone, the Generals’ Ryan Corcoran intercepted a Titans outlet pass at the top of the near side faceoff circle. Corcoran made a cross-ice pass to Paul Minnehan. Minnehan stepped up and took a wrist shot from the far side faceoff dot that beat Takacs high blocker side to make it a 3 – 2 game.
Chris Carroll was called for boarding with 2:18 remaining in the period to give the Generals another powerplay. Less than a minute later, the game was tied. Tommy Bannister picked up the loose puck at the top of his own near side faceoff circle and passed it up to Willey on a partial breakaway. As Willey gained the line, he took a shot that was saved by DeYoung, but the rebound came right back to Willey who deked to the goalie’s left and lifted the puck into the back of the net. It was the Titans’ sixth shorthanded goal on the season.
The Titans regained the lead at 3:58 into the third period. On the powerplay and in the Generals’ zone, Bannister picked up the loose puck at the top of the near side faceoff circle and passed it to Calafiore on his right. Calafiore took a one-timer that was saved by DeYoung, but the rebound came right to Carroll who took a wrist shot that beat DeYoung short side to give the Titans a 4 – 3 lead.
With 3:37 left in the game, Northeast’s Bryce Cooper tied the contest at four. With the puck behind the Titans’ net. Owen Luik circled to the right of Takacs and went to pitchfork it out of the zone but it was intercepted by Cooper at the point. Cooper took a shot that found its way through a screen and past Takacs to ultimately send the game into overtime.
After the opening faceoff in overtime, Bannister brought the puck into the Generals zone and took a shot that was saved by DeYoung. The rebound was picked up by Gordan who skated up and along the near side boards. As Gordon gained the line, he cut towards the middle of the ice and around a Titans defender. As Gordon went to the bottom of the far side faceoff circle, he took a sharp angle shot that beat Takacs long side to win the game.
Takacs stopped 26 of 31 shots in the loss while DeYoung turned aside 30 of 34. Click here for the box score.
The teams will play game two of this two-game series tonight at 7:00PM at the Middletown Sports Complex.