Desperate to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Northeast Generals overcame a 3 – 2 deficit to defeat the visiting Titans 4 – 3 last night in the first of two critical games for the Generals against New Jersey.
Northeast took an early 1 – 0 lead just 1:08 into the opening period. As the Titans’ Tyler Sanborn brought the puck out of his zone, he was knocked off the biscuit by Northeast’s Paul Minnehan and the loose puck was picked up by Ryan Corcoran. As Corcoran reached the blueline, he made a backhanded pass to Sixten Jennersjö on his left and Jennersjö walked in all alone on Titans goalie Andrew Takacs and beat Takacs on a breakaway for Jennersjö’s third goal of the season.
The Generals doubled their lead with 8:47 left in the first. Northeast’s Steven Ardagna picked up the loose puck in his own near side corner, and he passed it up to Ryan Gordon at the top of the Generals faceoff circle. Gordon made a long stretch pass to Jared Scott. As Scott gained the offensive zone line, he got around Sanborn and went towards the net on a semi-breakaway and Scott took a wrist shot that beat Takacs glove side for his nineteenth goal of the season.
The Titans cut their deficit in half with 5:57 remaining in the second period. Brendan Dumas picked up the loose puck behind the Generals net and passed it to Anthony Calafiore at the far side point. Calafiore passed the biscuit to Eric Charpentier on his left, and the defenseman took a shot that was deflected by Chris Carroll out front and past Northeast’s goalie Cullen DeYoung for Carroll’s fourteenth goal of the season.
Calafiore knotted the score at two just thirty-five seconds into the third period. After Sanborn kept the puck in the offensive zone at the near side point, he passed it down to Calafiore in the corner. As Calafiore passed the puck to Dumas, Dumas took a shot that was saved by DeYoung, but the rebound came right out Jack Karlsson in the slot, and Karlsson passed the biscuit down low to Calafiore who redirected the puck past DeYoung and into the open net for Calafiore’s team high 26th goal of the season.
The Titans took the lead just 37 seconds later. Charpentier brought the puck out of his zone and sent a high bounce pass off the glass and into the Generals zone where it was picked up by Michael Young. As Young went behind the Northeast net, he passed the puck to Levente Keresztes in the slot and Keresztes took a shot that was saved by DeYoung, but the rebound came right out to Young, who was to the left of the Generals’ netminder, and Young tapped in the loose puck for his 24th goal of the season.
With 9:09 remaining in the third period, Calafiore was called for roughing to give the Generals the man advantage. A minute and fifteen seconds the game was tied. Northeast’s Evan Orr started the play at the top of the near side point in the Titans zone, and he passed it over to Minnehan who immediately sent the puck down low to David Andreychuk. Andreychuk, who was to the left of Takacs, passed it to Alex Krause in the goalmouth, and Krause redirected the biscuit by Takacs to make it a 3 – 3 game.
Fourteen seconds after it became a tie game, Owen Luik was called cross-checking, and then Charpentier was called boarding fifty seconds later to give the Generals a 5 on 3 man advantage. With 6:35 remaining in the game, the Generals took the lead for good. Orr started the play at the top of the slot and passed the biscuit to Minnehan at the top of the faceoff circle, and he passed it down low to Andreychuk. As Andreychuk started to skate back towards the point, he turned to his right and the left-handed shot Andreychuk took a wrist shot that found its way through a screen and past Tackas to make it a 4 – 3 game and close out the scoring.
Takacs stopped 34 of 38 shots while DeYoung turned aside 25 of 28. Click here for the box score.
The Generals must defeat the Titans tonight and the Maine Nordiques tomorrow to secure the fourth and final spot in the East Division playoffs. Should they loose a game, the Titans will end up playing the Maryland Black Bears in round one of the Robertson Cup playoffs that start next Friday at 7:30PM at the Middletown Sports Complex.