The visiting New Jersey Titans defeated the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights 5 – 2 for the team’s ninth straight victory. It was the Titans second straight win over the Knights during the teams’ three game mini-series.
Matthew Iasenza opened the scoring for the Titans just 4:29 into the first period. Michael Outzen controlled the loose puck at center ice and sent it off the far side boards and into the offensive zone. Iasenza stripped the puck off a Knights defender and went towards the net going from his back hand to his forehand. As Iasenza went to the goal mouth, he slid the puck through the legs of Knights goalie Zach Stejskal and into the back of the net to give the Titans a 1 – 0 lead.
A little over two minutes later, the Titans would double their lead on Jake LaRusso’s third goal of the season. Brody Medeiros chipped the puck off the far side boards and into the offensive zone where LaRusso picked it up. LaRusso took a sharp angle shot that was saved by Stejskal but he had trouble covering the rebound. Cam Gendron took a wrist shot the was saved by Stejskal but LaRusso knock the rebound past Stejskal to make it 2 – 0 Titans.
With three minutes remaining in the first, the Knights would cut their deficit in half. As the Titans tried to set up for one last play as time was expiring on the power play, Ole Andersen’s pass was intercepted by Zak Currie who charged down the ice on a breakaway and went from his forehand to his backhand and beat a sprawling Arseni Sergeev to make it a 2 – 1 game.
After a scoreless second, the Knights would make it a 3 – 1 game on Matt Cameron’s eighth goal of the season at 5:39 into the third period. As the Knights tried to clear the puck out of their zone, Kyle Jeffers stripped the puck of a Knights defender. Jeffers went to the top of the face off circle and took a shot that was redirected by Cameron at the top of the crease past Stejskal.
The Knights Nikita Asylaev would make it 3 – 2 with 6:11 left in the game. Spencer Kring brought the puck up through center ice and into the offensive zone. As Kring gained the line, he left a drop pass to Asylaev who took a clapper that beat Sergeev for his fourth goal of the season.
Less than a minute later, Kyler Head gave the Titans a two-goal lead again. As the Knights tried to contain the loose puck in their own zone, the puck went to Head along the near side boards. Head took a sharp angle shot that beat Stejskal high, glove side to make it 4 – 2 Titans.
The Knights Caydon Meyer was called for tripping to give the Titans the man advantage. Michael Outzen sent a pass back up along the near side boards to Cameron. Cameron sent a return pass back to Outzen who passed to Head at the bottom of the faceoff circle. Head took a snapshot that beat Stejskal for his second goal of the game to close out the scoring.
Sergeev turned aside 40 of 42 shots while Stejskal stopped 31 of 36. Click here for the box score.
The two teams will meet tomorrow night for the second game of this home and home series at 7:00 PM at Middletown Sports Complex.