The Wichita Falls Warriors defeated the Titans yesterday 5 – 2 in the fourth and final game for the Red Buckets at the annual NAHL Showcase. The loss gave the Titans a 1 – 3 record in the showcase.
The Warriors got on the board first at 6:44 into the opening period. Wichita’s Vincent Corcoran picked up the loose puck at the top of his own near side faceoff circle and backhanded a pass to Jack Blanchett in front of his own goal. Blanchett made a long stretch pass up to Ryan Robinson at the Titans far side blueline. As Robinson entered the offensive zone, he took a wrist shot from just inside the faceoff circle that beat Titans netminder Owen Hines long side to make it a 1 – 0 game.
Wichita Falls added three unanswered goals in the middle stanza. PJ Neal made it 2 – 0 at 4:20. Then Joseph Calvarino made it 3 – 0 with 9:19 left in the second. Hines was lifted for Cam Carroll.
With time winding down in the second, Wichita Falls made it 4 – 0. The Warriors’ William Lawson-Body had the puck at center ice and chipped it into the Titans zone along the near side boards where it was picked up by Owen Baumgartner who skated along the boards and behind the net. As Baumgartner started to circle around the net, he made a centering pass out front to Carter Korpi who took a one-timer that beat Carroll long side to make it a 4 – 0 game.
The Titans tried to mount a comeback starting at 9:16 in the third period. Brandon Avezov intercepted a Warriors pass at center ice and skated into the offensive zone all alone. As he reached the net, he backhanded the puck up high and over the shoulder of Wichita Falls goalie Matthew O’Donnell to make it a 4 – 1 game. It was Avezov’s fifth goal in six games to lead the Titans in scoring.
With 8:08 left in the third period, Lawson-Body was called for delay of game to give the Red Buckets the man advantage. Forty-five seconds later Anthony Mollica cut the Titans deficit in half. As Tommy Bannister set up the play just inside the offensive zone, he passed the puck over to Nick Ring on his right along the top of the far side blueline. Ring passed it over to Mollica on his left and Mollica took a one-timer that went through a maze out front that hit the right post and into the net to make it a 4 – 2 game.
The Warriors’ Riley Brueck closed out the scoring with five minutes remaining in the game to make it 5 – 2.
Hines/Carroll combined to 21 of 26 shots while O’Donnell turned aside 19 of 21. Click here for the box score.
The Titans will resume East Division play next weekend as they travel to Jamestown to play the Rebels for a two-game series.