The first game of a home and home series between the East Division’s two top teams was decided by a shootout when New Jersey’s Andrew Durham beat Rebels goalie Trevor Micucci to the high glove side to give the home team a two point lead in the standings. Despite the defeat, Micucci was spectacular in the loss.
It was a game with little scoring and penalties but the Titans had many chances that were thwarted by Micucci. Playing in his fifth game out of the last seven, Micucci made several key saves. Case in point: in the first period the Titans dumped the puck in the Rebels zone. The puck took a crazy bounce that instead of going around the boards it bounce right out into the slot where a Titan picked up the puck and took a point blank shot that Micucci made a great glove save.
With time winding down in the second period the Titans dumped the puck in on Micucci. The puck bounced off his pads where Chris Deprez went to pick up the rebound but his stick was lifted by Anthony Cusanelli. Cusanelli passed the puck behind the net to Joseph Schuler who found a wide open Roberts Smits in the slot who beat the sprawling Rebels goaltender giving the Titans a 1 – 0 lead.
The Rebels picked up their game in the third. Dean Balsamo was down low and passed it back to the point to Austin Swingle. Swingle took a nice hard but low shot that Eric Carreras redirected past Titans goalie Spencer Wright to tie the game with 3:45 seconds into the final period.
Micucci made several nice saves to send the game into overtime. After no score in overtime, the game went into a shootout. The Rebels Carter Woolley and Carreras scored but then the Titans Jesse Farabee, Roberts Smits tied it then Durham had the game winner.
Wright stopped 20 of 21 shots while Micucci had 32 saves out of 33 shots. Click here for the box score.
The Titans and Rebels are at it again tonight at 5:00pm where the two teams will play the second game of their home and home series.