The Titans overcame an early two-goal second period deficit and scored five unanswered goals to defeat the Chippewa Steel 5 – 2. Brandon Avezov had two goals for the Red Buckets.
After a scoreless first period, the Steel opened the scoring just 1:40 into the middle stanza. As Titans forward Nick Stevens had the biscuit in the offensive zone at the near side faceoff dot, he was stripped off the puck by Chippewa’s Tyler Ryder. Ryder brought the up through center ice and into the Titans zone. As the gained the line, he took a shot that went high off the end boards glass and came right out to Ryder who stuffed the loose puck past a surprised Ben Charette to make it 1 – 0 Steel.
The Titans Coleman Need was called for interference at 4:17 of the second period to give the Steel the man advantage. Thirty-three seconds later the Steel doubled their lead. After Chippewa’s Jack Brown won the draw deep inside the Titans zone, the puck went back to James Miller at the near side point. Miller took a shot on goal that went high off Brown’s back and deflected past Charette for his second goal of the season.
At 8:24 into the middle stanza, Chippewa’s Parker Gnos was called for kneeing to give the Titans the man advantage. Thirty-nine seconds later Tommy Bannister cut the Titans deficit in half. Jake LaRusso stripped the puck off a Steel’s defenseman behind the Chippewa net and passed back to the point to Nick Ring who took a shot on net the was redirected by Bannister past Steel’s netminder Levi Gho to make it a 2 – 1 game.
Forty-three seconds the game was tied.
Jack Karlsson picked up the loose puck at his own half wall and pitched forked the puck off the glass and out to Avezov just outside the Titans zone. The Bellmore, NY native skated through center ice and into the offensive on a three-on-one. As Avezov gained the line, he passed the puck to Rocco Testa-Basi on his right. Testa-Basi sent a return pass to Avezov who took a wrist shot that beat Gho short side to knot the game at two.
With four minutes remaining in the middle stanza, Chippewa’s Matthew Brille and Joe Manning were called for slashing and charging respectively to give the Red Buckets a five-on-three. As the man advantage was set to expire, Levente Keresztes gave the Titans their first lead of the night.
Jack LaRusso picked up the loose puck at the far side half wall inside the Steel’s zone and passed to Brendan Dumas at the point. As Dumas skated towards the slot, he made a backdoor pass to Keresztes who lifted the puck up and over a fallen Gho and into the back of the net to make it a 3 – 2 game.
At 4:41 into the third period, Avezov scored his second goal of the game. As the Steel entered the Titans zone, Blake Farrell intercepted a Steel pass and poked the puck up to Avezov who skated through center ice and into the Steel zone. As Avezov went towards the net, he went from his forehand to his backhand and he deked Gho and lifted the puck that went bar down and into the double the Titans lead.
Stephen Willey scored with 8:18 remaining in the third period to close out the scoring.
Charette stopped 26 of 28 shots while Gho turned aside 13 of 18. Click here for the complete box score.
The Titans will now play the Austin Bruins on Thursday at 1:45 PM ET for game three of this four game tournament showcase.