Wow! What a comeback!
Trailing 3- 0 with essentially a period remaining in the game, the visiting New Jersey Titans scored three unanswered goals and then Josef Glamos and Mitch Machlitt scored in a shootout to defeat the Northeast Generals 4 – 3 and complete the weekend sweep at the New England Sports Village.
Midway through the opening period, Liam McCanney put the Generals on the board first. With a Titans defender on him, Northeast’s Dylan Schuett made a centering pass from behind New Jersey’s net to Gerard Marretta out front. Marretta couldn’t get the puck on net and skated towards the far side corner to set up the play. Marretta skated back towards the net and took a shot that was saved by Titans goalie Patrick Pugliese but McCanney picked up the rebound and put it past the fallen goalie to give the Generals a 1 – 0 lead.
Just thirty-four seconds into the second period, the Generals would double their lead.
Northeast’s Tyler Cooper brought the puck up along the far side boards and into the Titans zone. As he gained the line, Cooper took a shot that handcuffed Pugliese and the rebound came out front to Ethan Destefani who wacked at the puck that went past Pugliese to make it 2 – 0 Generals.
After the Titans had cleared the puck into center ice, Generals defenseman Kyle Gierman chipped the puck back into the Titans zone boards where it was picked up by Ricky Boysen at far side halfway boards. Boysen skated to the faceoff dot and took a shot that hit off the post and into the net behind Pugliese to give Northeast was seemed to be an insurmountable 3 – 0 lead with 5:53 left in the second period.
Like many other games New Jersey has trailed this season, the Titans didn’t give up. With twelve seconds remaining in the middle stanza, Michael Outzen started the comeback.
With less than a minute left in the second period, Northeast’s Cam Gaudette was called for slashing to give the Titans the man advantage. Outzen won the draw deep inside the Generals zone and the puck went to Matt Cameron in front of the Titans bench. Cameron passed the puck back to Outzen at the faceoff dot and Outzen took a wrist shot that beat Northeast goalie Joey Stanizzi high, short side to put the Titans on the board.
Trailing 3 – 1 with a little over six minutes remaining in the third period, Cade Penney picked up a rebound in his own zone and send a long stretch pass out to Cameron who redirected it into the Generals zone. Cameron picked up the puck in the near side corner, looked up and passed it back to a trailing Mac Wisemen in the slot and the New Jersey defenseman took a wrister that beat Stanizzi blocker side to cut the Titans deficit in half.
With under a minute left in regulation, head coach Craig Doremus pulled Pugliese for the extra attacker.
As the Generals cleared the puck into the neutral zone it was picked up by Outzen who passed it over to Wiseman on his left. As Wiseman gained the line, he passed it over to Kyle Jeffers. Jeffers immediately sent a touch pass to Machlitt on his right. Machlitt took a shot that was saved by Stanizzi but Jeffers tucked in the rebound to tie the game with twelve seconds remaining in the third to send the game into overtime.
After a scoreless overtime, the Titans would go first in the shootout. As he skated in on net, Glamous made a couple of moves and then slid the puck past Stanizzi to put the Titans up. Pugliese then stopped Trevor Smith. Machlitt then would score another game winning shootout goal as he beat Stanizzi through the five hole. Pugliese stopped Jared Lambright to seal the amazing comeback win and send the Titans into euphoria!
Pugliese turned aside 35 of 38 shots while Stanizzi turned aside 43 of 46. Click here for the box score.
The Titans are off next weekend then the Maine Nordiques come to the Middletown Sports Complex for the Titans home opening weekend October 18 and 19.
Photo credit: Patrick Garriepy Photography. www.patrickgarriepy.com.