The Titans scored three, third period goals but it wasn’t enough as they lost to the visiting Long Beach Sharks in an eight-round shootout.
With 3:24 remaining in the first period, Long Beach’s Blake Crawford was called for interference to give the Titans the man advantage. Six seconds later Michael Macieri scored his first goal of the season. After Brandon Avezov won the draw deep inside the Sharks zone, the puck went back to Brett Bell at the near side point. Bell passed it over to Macieri on his left and the Toronto, ON native took a one-timer that found its way through a screen, hit the post and into the net behind Sharks goaltender Greyson Skirpan.
Then the wheels fell off as the Sharks went onto score four unanswered goals in the second period.
Training 4 – 1 to begin the third period, Phillippe Doucette cut the Titans deficit in half just 3:24 in. As a Sharks power play just expired, Eyan Gonzalvez-Helm picked up the loose puck in front of his net and passed over to Avezov on his right who passed it up along the near side boards to Jonah Sabatini at center ice. As Sabatini gained the line, he started skating to the far side boards and took a shot that was saved by Skirpan but the rebound came right out to Doucette who tucked the biscuit into the net to make it a 4 – 2 game.
Avezov brought the Titans within one with 9:28 remaining in the third. With the puck in his own near side corner, Helm went to pass the puck up but it was blocked by a Long Beach fore checker but the biscuit caromed off his skate and onto the stick of Justin Hiler. Hiler passed it up to Avezov who skated from the top of his own faceoff circle, through center ice and into the offensive zone. As he cut across the slot, he backhanded a shot that hit the post and behind Skirpan to make it a 4 – 3 game.
With 4:03 left in the third, Doucette scored his second goal of the game to tie it. After the Titans won the draw deep inside their own zone, the puck went back to TJ Stone at their far side corner. Stone passed it up to Avezov along the near side boards. As Avezov gained the line on a 3-on-2, he passed it over to Doucette on his left. Doucette took a shot that was saved by Skirpan but Doucette picked up his own rebound and shot it over the fallen Sharks goaltender to make it a 4 – 4 game.
After regulation ended in a tie, it went into a five minute overtime. After a scoreless overtime, the game proceeded to go to an eight round shootout with each team scoring three goals. Finally, Long Beach’s Zane Burnside beat Ethan Kavanagh for the Sharks fourth goal and Skirpan stopped Kyle O’Neill to win the game.
Kavanagh stopped 35 of 39 shots while Skirpan turned aside 43 of 47. Click here for the box score.
The two teams will meet again on Wednesday at 1:30PM at the Middletown Sports Complex.