Brandon Avezov scored sixteen seconds into overtime to give the “visiting” New Jersey Titans a 4 – 3 win over the Long Beach Sharks. It was second straight overtime game between the teams.
The Titans were trailing 3 – 1 with two minutes remaining in regulation and scored two goals to force overtime.
Jonah Sabatini got the Titans on board just 5:17 into the opening period. Phillippe Doucette picked up the loose puck at the near side half wall and sent a bounce pass up to Avezov at his own blueline. As Avezov entered the neutral zone, he headmanned the puck up to Sabatini on his left. Sabatini carried the puck into the offensive zone and cut towards the far side boards. As he reached the faceoff dot, Sabatini took a wrist shot the beak Sharks goaltender Artem Lantukh long side for his first goal as a Titan.
With 6:53 left in the period, Long Beach knotted the score. The Sharks Aleksandr Gamzatov stole the puck off a Titans defender behind the New Jersey net. Gamzatov made a centering pass out front that was initial stopped at the top of the slot by Stephen Conklin, but Conklin immediately passed the puck back to Sam Brickley at the point. Brickley took that was saved by Titans goalie Ethan Kavanagh but the rebound came right out to Gavin Dempsey who tucked in the rebound past Kavanagh to make it a 1 – 1 game.
Thirty-six seconds later the Sharks made it 2 – 1. Brickley picked up the loose puck in his own far side corner and sent a long pass up to Gamzatov just outside the Titans zone and he redirected the biscuit to the end boards. Gamzatov outskated a Titans defender and picked up the loose puck and send it back to Zan Mojzer at the bottom of the near side faceoff circle. Mojzer sent a return pass to Gamzatov who started to skate behind the Titans net towards the far side corner. As he reached the end of the Titans net, he stopped, turned, and sent a return pass to Mojzer who took a sharp angle shot that beat Kavanagh short side for his fourth goal of the season.
The Sharks took a two-goal lead just :29 into the middle stanza. Gamzatov picked up the loose puck in the Titans far side corner and he passed it back to Conklin at the point. Conklin took a clapper that was saved by Kavanagh but Mojzer picked up the rebound and put it past the fallen Titans netminder and into the net to make it a 3 – 1 game.
With 2:01 left in the third period, Avezov scored his first goal of the game to bring the Titans within one. TJ Stone retrieved the puck at his own near side faceoff dot, and he passed it up to Avezov at center ice and he passed it over to Brett Bell on his left. As Bell gained the line, he brought the puck down the near side boards and cut towards the net. As he started to go behind the net, he made a centering pass out front to Avezov who took a wrister that beat Lantukh long side for his team high twelfth goal of the season.
The Sharks’ Zane Burnside was called for slashing with 1:40 left in regulation to give the Titans the man advantage. A minute later, Sabatini scored his second goal of the game to send it into overtime. With the Titans setting up in the offensive zone, Avezov had the puck at the far side half wall and he passed it back to Justin Hiler at the point. Hiler sent a pass over to Michael Macieri on his right. Macieri took a shot that was redirected out front by Bell to Sabatini who was to the right of Lantukh and the Sioux Lookout, ON native tucked in the rebound past Lantukh to send the game into overtime.
After the ensuing faceoff to start the overtime, Kavanagh made a glove save to have a faceoff to his blocker side. Sabatini won the draw deep inside his own zone and the puck game out to Avezov who skated through center ice and into the offensive zone. As he gained the line, he was knocked off the puck, but Sabatini picked it up and went towards the net. He took a shot that went wide but the rebound came right out to Avezov in the slot and he tucked in the rebound past Lantukh to win the game just :16 into extra period.
It was the Titans first ever overtime win.
Kavanagh stopped 17 of 20 shots while Lantukh turned aside 28 of 32. Click here for the box score.
The Titans regularly scheduled game on Friday, November 20 against the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks has been postponed.