For the week ending October 21, 2012
The Trenton Titans had another great week, though the perfect start to the season ended Saturday in Cincinnati. For the week they went 2-1 to run their record to 4-1, good enough to stay with Elmira atop the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division.
Wednesday the Titans faced Reading for the second time this season. While the first game was more one-sided (6-2 win in Reading), this one was a slugfest with Trenton coming out on top 3-1 at home. Blake Kessel scored his first of the year on the power play just 3:07 into the contest. Tied at 1-1, Marcel Noebels got his first goal of the year at 8:12 into the second from Andy Bohmbach (second of the game) and Jason Akeson to keep the lead for good. Ray DiLauro added an rink-length, empty-netter in the final minute, while Scott Wedgewood stopped all 20 Royals’ shots he faced in relief of an injured Niko Hovinen (11 saves) to get his second win.
Though not “perfect” in Evansville, Wedgewood (20 saves) grabbed his third win in as many appearances as the Titans outlasted the IceMen on the road, 4-3, in the first ever meeting between the teams. Mitch Versteeg (1), Stephen Schultz (PPG, 3) and Jacob Drewiske (3) helped stake Trenton to a 3-1 advantage late in the second, before two Evansville goals in the final minute of the period tied things up.
The “bell” may have saved the Titans, but it also set the stage for some short-handed dramatics, as a great forecheck and steal by Noebels led immediately to Luke Pither’s first goal of the year 5:12 into the third and to a four-game win streak to begin the year.
But the winning streak – the first four-gamer since March 26-April 2, 2010 when they were the Trenton Devils – would come to a crashing halt in Cincinnati as the Cyclones upended the Titans, 6-4. With the win – marred by 20 penalties and three game misconducts (two for CIN) – the Cyclones continued their recent dominance over the Titans. They have won the last six against the Titans at home and the last eight overall.
Kessel grabbed his second goal of the year to tie the game at 1-1 nine minutes into the game, but Trenton quickly fell behind 3-1 early in the second. Bryan Haczyk cut the lead to one after a blue line steal and breakaway rush to beat goalie Zoltan Hetenyi at 8:29 of the second. Noebels knocked the deficit back to one at 4-3 on the power play late in the period, but the Titans would get no closer. Defenseman Eric Baier scored his first of the season late in the third to close the scoring.
The Titans’ penalty killing unit – which started the season a perfect 11-for-11 – allowed five goals in 17 opportunities during the week. Meanwhile the power play slipped from its 20 percent clip, after a three-goal performance in 17 tries.
The (Re)View From Atop Mount Olympus
Buy High On Scoring Short: The Titans lead the league in Short Handed Goals (road and overall) with three, while not having allowed a SHG while on their power play.
Leaders Of The Pack: Andy Bohmback currently sits atop the list for the ECHL in assists with eight. Mitch Versteeg also leads the league in two categories as the plus/minus leader among defensemen (+6) while tying for the ECHL top spot overall in that category.
Highs And Lows: Trenton recorded a season-high 37 shots against Evansville, while limiting the Icemen to a season-low 23 SHA. Trenton was also held to season-lows for shots in a period (3 - 1st period) and game (19 – tied with Greenville) against CIN.
Eight Is Enough (again): After ending an eight-game losing streak to Reading earlier this year, the CIN loss now puts that losing streak at eight. The last Titans win over the Cyclones was as the Devils, when they won at home in overtime, 5-4, on 11/5/10.
Great Town, Lousy Host: Trenton’s last road win against CIN was on 11/18/09 (4-2), also when they were known as the Devils.
Sweet 16: Paced by Versteeg and Bohmbach (+5), the Titans have 16 players on the positive side of the plus/minus rating.
Everyday Assist(ance): Bohmbach has not only scored in all five games so far this season, he has recorded at least one assist in each contest as well.
Friday October 26 vs. Toledo Walleye
Saturday October 27 vs. Toledo Walleye
The Titans “Pink the Rink” campaign continues against Reading and finishes with a weekend pair against Toledo October 26-27. Following the October 27th contest, the Titans’ specialized pink jerseys will be auctioned off, with the proceeds to help the Breast Cancer Resource Center in Princeton, NJ, promote breast cancer research, awareness and recovery.
The Titans alumni return to the SNBC to reunite and play in an Alumni Game on the 27th against The Pylons, the Titans Men’s Cup Champions. Inductions into the Sun National Bank Center and Titans Hall of Fame – initially scheduled for the 26th – have been postponed to a later date (TBD). A wide variety of sports memorabilia will be available for fans to view and purchase on both nights.
The Trenton Titans returned in the 2011-12 hockey season after a five year hiatus and boasted a 26.1% increase in attendance over the previous year, the largest of any team in the (then) 20-team ECHL. For information on promotions, team events or to purchase tickets for the 2012-13 season, call the Titans’ offices at 609-341-1100, or go to TrentonTitansHockey.com.