Reece Brednich scored at 2:39 into the third period to give the visiting Titans a 2 – 1 win over the Maine Nordiques and complete a critical weekend sweep between the teams.
The win gives the second place Titans a four-point advantage over the third place Nordiques in the East Division standings. With seven games remaining in the regular season, the Red Buckets are inching very close to another trip to the Robertson Cup playoffs. Should the Johnstown Tomahawks lose today or the Titans win on Tuesday against Danbury, the Titans will clinch a ticket to post season play.
At 8:57 into the opening period Maine’s Brendan Gibbons was called for checking from behind to give the Titans the man advantage. Just six seconds later Brendan Dumas gave the visitors a 1 – 0 lead.
After Ben Muthersbaugh won the draw deep inside the Nordiques zone, the puck went back to Dominik Bartecko at the near side point who passed it over to Owen Luik on his right at the top of the point. Luik passed it Muthersbaugh at the top of the far side faceoff dot, and he immediately passed the biscuit to Dumas in the slot. Dumas took a shot that went off the near side post and in the net behind Maine’s goaler Kael Depape for Dumas’ thirteenth goal of the season.
The Nordiques tied the contest with 8:31 remaining in the opening period. Maine’s Evan Orloff had the puck at the top of the slot and took a wrist shot that was blocked by Zak Brice but the rebound came right out to Alexey Yarmulnik on the doorstep and he knocked it into the back of the net for his sixth goal of the season.
After a scoreless second period, Brednich scored the game winner early in the third. With a scrum in the Nordiques far side corner, Ryan Novo came away with the loose puck and sent it back to Joe Harney at the point. Harney took a wrist shot that was redirected by Brednich in the slot and past Depape to make it a 2 – 1 game and close out the scoring. It was Brednich’s sixth goal of the season.
Brice stopped 35 of 36 shots while Depape turned aside 29 of 31. Click here for the complete box score.
The Titans have seven games remaining in the regular season, with their last three at home coming up this week (Danbury on Tuesday and Northeast on Friday and Saturday). They then will return to play the Nordiques in Lewiston, ME Easter weekend and close out the regular season April 14 and 15 in Johnstown.
Should Johnstown lose to the Rebels today, the idle Titans will clinch a playoff spot.