Jake Fuss scored the overtime winning goal as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights defeated the New Jersey Titans, 2-1, on Tuesday night at Middletown Sports Complex.
Danny Dimon scored New Jersey’s lone goal, his first as a Titan, while Brandon Perrone made 29 saves in the losing effort. Knights goaltender Zach Stejskal stopped 37 of the 38 shots he faced, helping his team deal the Titans its third consecutive loss.
Despite the result, Dimon said the team’s performance was an improvement after getting outscored 11-2 by the Rebels in a pair of losses earlier this week.
“It was definitely a stride in the right direction, but we just want to keep going the right way, keep working hard in practice, and hopefully things will turn around for next week,” he said.
Evan Orr opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal at 11:44 of the first period. Jake Fuss had a breakaway, but Mitch Machlitt lifted his stick on the backcheck. As they both skated away from the puck, Orr stepped in and snapped a shot over Perrone’s blocker to give the Knights a 1-0 lead.
Later in the first, Tyrone Bronte took a hooking penalty, and an additional bench minor set the Titans up for a five-on-three power play. New Jersey’s PP unit only managed to get one shot on goal, and a one-timer from Gavin Gulash hit the post and stayed out.
The Titans were able to knot the score at 7:39 of the second period with Dimon’s first goal as a Titan. He corralled the puck at the blue line and ripped a shot on goal, as it glanced off Zach Stejskal’s blocker and in the net.
“It was a loose puck that came up to me at the point, tried to get a shot through and it found a way in, so it’s great to get the monkey off my back,” Dimon said of his goal.
New Jersey went to the power play with 17 seconds left in the middle frame, and a blue line turnover off the faceoff led to a breakaway for Adrian Danchenko. He went to the backhand, but Perrone made a sprawling blocker save to keep the game even at one.
Neither team scored in the third period, sending the game into overtime. Three minutes in, Jake Fuss controlled the puck off an offensive-zone faceoff and slid the puck under Perrone for the game-winning goal.
Spencer Stanley left the game with a lower-body injury in the second period and did not return. Dimon spoke about the effects that the captain’s absence had for the rest of the team.
“It was a big punch to the defensive line for us. He’s a key player on our team and he’s our captain, we look up to him in every facet of the game so it was obviously tough losing him for the rest of the game,” he said.
The Titans will go on the road this weekend when they face the Maryland Black Bears on Friday and Saturday at Piney Orchard Arena. Both games have a start time of 7:45 p.m.
Photo Credit: Pete MacDonald (Twitter: @PMacDonald51)