Maine’s Oliver Genest score at 2:15 into overtime to give the Nordiques a 5 – 4 come-from-behind victory over the visiting Titans to split the weekend series between the teams.
The Nordiques victory solidifies that the teams will be meeting again in two weeks in the first round of the Robertson Cup playoffs beginning April 21st at the Middletown Sports Complex. It will be the second time in three seasons that they will square off in the first round of the extra season.
Michael Young scored just 1:49 into the game and gave the Titans a 1 – 0 lead. As Maine’s Laurent Trepanier brought the puck out of his own zone, he was knocked off the biscuit by Joe Harney along the far side boards where it was picked up by Levente Keresztes. As Keresztes gained the line, he made a nice move through two Maine defenders in the slot, and he passed the biscuit to Young on his right. Young took a wrist shot that beat Nordiques goalie Kael Depape for Young’s 27th goal of the season, which is now sets a Titans franchise record for most goals in a season.
The Titans doubled their lead a minute later off the stick of Chris Battaini. Ben Muthersbaugh kept the puck in the offensive zone at the far side point and took a wrist shot on net that was redirected out front by Battaini and past Depape for Battaini’s first NAHL career goal.
Genest scored his first goal of the game with 2:18 remaining in the opening period when he scored on a semi-breakaway on a backhanded shot past Titans goalie Marino Ramirez to make it a 2 – 1 game.
Just ten seconds into the middle stanza, Maine’s Patrick Schmiedlin hit Johnny McMahon hard into the boards and a fight ensued between Schmiedlin and Anthony Calafiore. Both players were ejected from the contest.
At 2:57 into the second, Keresztes was called for slashing. As the man advantage was about to expire, Maine’s Aidan Coupe scored on a backdoor pass behind Ramirez to even the score at two.
Just seconds after Maine scored, the Titans took a 3 – 2 lead when Keresztes picked up the loose puck at the near side half wall inside the Nordiques zone and went towards the net and took a wrist shot that went through Depape’s five hole for Budapest, Hungry native’s 18th goal of the season.
Playing 6 on 5 on the delayed powerplay, the Titans had the puck in the Nordiques zone. Reece Brednich had the puck at the end wall behind Maine’s net and made a centering pass out front to Marcus Sang who made a backhanded pass to Brendan Dumas on his left, Dumas cranked a shot off the far side post and past Depape for Dumas’ seventeenth goal of the season.
Kellen Murphy brought Maine within one at 5:06 into the third period.
Tyler Sanborn was called for tripping at 7:36 of the final period to give the Nordiques the man advantage. With time winding down on the powerplay, Maine’s Brendan Gibbons scored on a rebound to even the score at four.
After regulation ended at four, the game went into overtime. Playing three-on-three hockey, Maine’s Anthony Achille knocked Ben Yurchuk off the puck just outside the Nordiques zone. Achille raced towards Ramirez on a two-on-one with Genest. As Achille went to the post, he made a pass through the goal mouth to Genest who shot it into the net to win the game.
The loss snapped the Titans’ six game win streak. Click here for the complete box score.
The Titans now will close out their regular season next weekend when they travel to Johnstown for the final two games of the year.