MIDDLETOWN, N.J. — The Knights got a late goal to force overtime and a shootout, but once again, the Titans came away with the victory.
The lone goal in the shootout was scored by Roberts Smits after the first five shooters between the two teams failed to convert.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton got a late game-tying goal at 18:55 of the third period after a scramble in front of Spencer Wright’s goal. It appeared that Wright made the initial stop, however, the puck snuck his right pad and just over the goal line.
Both teams had chances in overtime but ultimately it was a shootout that was needed to decide the regular season finale between the two teams.
The victory for New Jersey was its 30th win of the season and fifth in a shootout for the season. It also puts the Titans five points clear of the second place Aston Rebels having played one extra game.
The Knights were first on the board after a rebound came right to Stephan Kelly for an easy put back into the wide open net. The goal was on the power play at 10:39 of the first period.
Titans’ coach Rich McKenna used his timeout following the opening Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goal to settle down his team.
The timeout appeared to have paid dividends as the Titans equalized a little less than seven minutes later. While skating four-on-four, Andrew Durham and Keegan Miller rushed up the ice on a two-on-one. Durham fed it across and Miller lifted the puck top shelf over Knights’ goaltender Grant Valentine.
It was Miller’s 16th goal of the season.
After a scoreless second period, it didn’t take long for the Titans to get on the board in the third period. At 2:39 of the period, Jesse Farabee had an open lane to shoot from the right circle, but fanned on the shot. It worked out in the end because the sprawled out Valentine had slid out of his crease and it allowed Farabee to go around him and hand it off to Ray Brice to put the puck in the net for his 17th of the year.
Wright, meanwhile, finished the game with 31 saves on 33 shots as his counterpart, Valentine, kept out 39 of the Titans’ 41 shots.
The Titans will return to the ice when they face the Rebels at Middletown Ice World on Friday, March 3 at 7:30 p.m. and then the Johnstown Tomahawks the following night, also at 7:30 p.m.