The Long Beach Sharks scored four, second period goals en route to a 5 – 1 victory over the visiting New Jersey Titans in a matinee game held at the Middletown Sports Complex yesterday. It was the first of a “home and home” series between the two teams.
After the Titans’ Justice Sheltgen won the draw deep inside the Sharks zone, the loose puck was picked up by Long Beach’s Xzia Fogelgren who immediately shuttle passed it to Sam Brickley in front of his own goal. As Brickely skated to the high slot, he pitched forked a pass to a breaking William Space who got past the Titans defense and walked in all alone and beat New Jersey goalie Ethan Kavanaugh to give the Sharks the 1 – 0 lead at 9:28 into the opening period.
The Sharks then scored three consecutive goals in a three-minute span early in the second period with the first one coming just 2:15 into the middle stanza.
As the Titans tried to clear the puck out of their own zone, it was kept in by Long Beach defenseman Zane Burnside at the top of the point who dumped it into the near side corner where it was picked up by Anderson O’Connor. O’Connor centered it out front to Mason Mulneaux who redirected the puck on net that was saved by Kavanaugh, but the rebound came out to Vincent Feeley and he slid the puck past Kavanaugh to double the Sharks lead.
A minute and a half later the Sharks would make it 3 – 0. As the Titans Isaiah McKinney went to clear the puck at his own far side half wall, it was intercepted by Brickley at the top of the point. Brickley took a clapper that found its way through a screen and beat Kavanaugh high glove side for third goal of the season.
Ninety seconds later the Titans TJ Stone brought the puck along side his own net and to the right of Kavanaugh. As Stone started to skate out in front of his own net, he was stripped of the puck by Jake Weikel who took a shot that was saved by Kavanaugh but Blake Crawford tucked in the rebound to make it a 4 – 0 game.
At 9:24 into the second Brandon Avezov broke the shutout bid. After George Haigley picked up the loose puck behind the Sharks net, he sent it back to McKinney at the far side point. McKinney took a shot that was that was saved by Long Beach’s netminder Greyson Skirpan but the rebound came right out to Philippe Doucette who passed it to Avezov on his left and Avezov buried the shot over a prone Skirpan to make it a 4 – 1 game.
The Sharks’ O’Connor closed out the scoring with 2:20 left in the second period to make it a 5 – 1 game.
Kavanaugh stopped 16 of 21 shots while Skirpan turned aside 33 of 34. Click here for the box score.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow night at 8:15 PM at the Middletown Sports Complex but this time as the Titans will be the home team, the first true home game in the team’s history.