Liam McCanney scored the lone shootout goal to give the visiting Northeast Generals a 5 – 4 victory over the New Jersey Titans. It was New Jersey’s sixth consecutive defeat, the most in franchise history.
Northeast opened the scoring with 6:38 left in the first period. The Generals’ Killian Rowelee picked up the loose puck in the Titans zone along the end boards and sent a pass to Matthew Yeager behind the Titans net. As Yeager came around the net, he made a centering pass out front that was inadvertently kicked by Ryan Gordon that redirected to Rowelee who was to the right of Titans goalie Berk Berkeliev and Rowelee lifted the puck past Berkeliev to give Northeast a 1 – 0 lead.
With forty-four seconds remaining in the first period, the Titans would tie the game on Anthony Calafiore’s third goal of the season. Matt Doyle gloved down the puck at center ice along the near side boards and passed it up to Jack Ford. The Hockessin, DE native went to the net and took a shot that was saved by Northeast’s goalie Hugo Haas. Jack Ring picked up the rebound, but it was saved by Haas and Calafiore kept digging for the loose puck and put it behind Hass to make it a 1 – 1 game.
Northeast regained the lead at 4:58 into the middle stanza. McCanney picked up the loose puck along the Titans end boards and skated behind the net to the far side corner. McCanney made a centering pass out front that was blocked but Jake Hosszu picked up the rebound and lifted it past a surprised Berkeliev to give the Generals a 2 – 1 lead.
Matthew Iasenza would then score two consecutive goals three minutes apart to give the Titans the lead with the first goal coming at 8:02 into the second period.
After a scrum along the far side boards, Nate Boak was able to slide the puck to Anthony Mollica on his left just outside the Titans zone. Mollica passed the puck to Levente Keresztes who carried the puck up through center ice and into the offensive zone. As Keresztes reached the top of the near side faceoff circle, he went to the make a dangle move but the puck was poked off his stick but it went directly to Iasenza who one-timed top shelf past Haas to knot the score at two.
Tommy Bannister was called for roughing midway through the second to give the Generals the man advantage. A minute later Iasenza made a brilliant move to score a shorthanded goal and give the Titans the lead. Caleb Price dumped the puck deep inside the Generals zone where it as picked up by Northeast’s defenseman Bobby Metz. As Metz came out towards his net, he was knocked off the puck by a hard charging Jake LaRusso and the biscuit came out to Iasenza who lifted the puck through his legs and up and over a down Haas for his second goal of the season.
With 5:58 remaining in the second, Yeager tied the game at three. As the Bannister looked to make a cross-ice outlet pass from the near side boards, it was intercepted by Yeager at the top of point. Yeager cut across the slot and lifted the puck high, long side past Berkeliev for his first goal of the season.
The Titans would regain the lead just 1:32 into the third period on Evan Werner’s fourth goal of the year. Nate Boak retrieved a Generals clearing pass in his own zone and he passed it over to Bannister along the far side boards. Bannister passed it up to the speedy Werner. As Werner entered the offensive zone, he went to the outside he took a shot that beat a surprised Haas long side to give the Titans a 4 – 3 lead.
Northeast would tie the game with 7:52 remaining in regulation. The Generals’ John Musella had the puck along the half wall along his own near side boards and he passed it over to Ryan MacDermott on his right. MacDermott made a lob pass that was picked up by Aidan Curran who got past the Titans defenders and walked in all alone and deked the puck past Berkeliev to knot the score at four.
With the game tied at the end of regulation, it went into the five-minute overtime with no score forcing the shootout. McCanney, the second Generals’ shooter, beat Berkeliev to give the Generals the lead and Haas then stopped Jack Suede and Werner to seal the victory.
Berkeliev stopped 28 of 32 shots while Haas turned aside 40 of 44. Click here for the box score.
The two teams will finish their two-game series tonight at 7:00 PM at the Middletown Sports Complex.