The Long Beach Sharks defeated the visiting Titans 5 – 2 in game one of this critical two-game series. The Titans had entered this weekend a point over Long Beach in the standings and fourth and final playoff spot.
Nate Mastrony scored a shorthanded goal with 2:13 remaining in the first period to give the Sharks a 1 – 0. Long Beach doubled their lead when Zac Kretzschmer scored his 17th goal of the season with eight seconds left in the period to give the Sharks a 2 – 0 margin.
The Sharks’ Christopher Keller made it 3 – 0 just 1:47 into the middle stanza.
George Hinds’ fifteenth goal of the season got the Titans on the board at 3:37 of the second but Keller scored his second goal of the game at 8:47 to give Long Beach a commanding 4 – 1 lead. Kretzschmer hit the back of the net for the second time of the game with five minutes left in the period to give the Sharks a 5 – 1 lead.
Aidan Gallagher scored with four minutes left in the game to make it 5 – 2 and close out the scoring.
Daniel Antal and Jake Agoglia combined to stop 57 of 62 shots while Long Beach’s Colten McIntyre turned aside 36 of 38. Click here for the complete box score.
The teams will meet again today at 2:30PM at the Long Beach Municipal Ice Arena.