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Trenton to Face Dayton in ECHL Semifinals

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils

Mark Pandolfo rushes the puck against Johnstown last night in Trenton's 7-5 win.

TITANS ADVANCE TO SEMIFINAL AGAINST DAYTON – The Trenton Titans almost let the Johnstown Chiefs off the hook, but ultimately pulled away for a 7-5 win over the Johnstown Chiefs in Game 2 of their best-of-three North Division Quarterfinal at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena on Tuesday.

With the victory, Trenton, the Devils' East Coast Hockey League affiliate, swept its first-round series, and moved one step closer to the 2007 Kelly Cup Championship.

The Titans must now prepare for the North Division Semifinal against the Bombers, beginning Sunday night in Dayton at 5 p.m. ET.

Leading 5-3 heading into the third period, the Titans let the Chiefs get within a goal when Johnstown's Zbynek Hrdel scored at 7:22.

The Chiefs then tied it up with 5:54 left in regulation as Marek Kvapil finished a 3-on-2 rush, beating Gregg Naumenko from between the hash marks.

But it took only 52 seconds for Trenton to get the lead once again when Don Morrison went crashing to towards the crease to tap in a centering pass from Troy Riddle past a sprawled Morgan Cey.

Mark Pandolfo provided the insurance for the second consecutive night gathering his second marker in the match with just 1:36 remaining in the game.

Behind 2-1 thanks to a Bryan Nathe power play goal midway through the second, the Titans rattled off the next three to take the their first lead of the contest. Troy Riddle tied the score at 12:52 as he was left alone in front for a shorthanded goal – Trenton’s second of the game - after a pass in the corner from Pandolfo.

Benoit Mondou put Trenton up 3-2, taking a pass from Scott Bertoli and getting behind the defense before putting a backhander top shelf. Twenty-one seconds later it was Pandolfo tipping in Jake Ortmeyer’s point shot to make the score 4-2 in favor of the Titans.

Hrdel answered back with a shorthanded goal to cut the Titans’ lead in half at 18:09 of the second. Trenton, however, went back up by two with 15 seconds left until the intermission as Riddle picked up the rebound from Bertoli’s point shot and dumped it into the open net.

The Chiefs went up 1-0 at 11:13 of the first as the Titans lost track of the puck in the slot, where Katsuras swooped in to fire a wrist shot into the top right corner. Later in the period, Johnstown looked to the extend their lead with the help of the man-advantage, but Titans’ center Jim Henkel blocked John Adams’ slapshot and took the puck down the length for the shorthanded tally at 14:15.

The Titans finished the game 0-for-3 on the power play and 7-for-8 on the penalty kill.

For more information on the Trenton Titans quest for the Kelly Cup, visit their official web site here.


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