7:05 PM, December 8, 2012
North Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, SC
South Carolina 6
Two get first goals as Titans in the shootout loss
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – Trenton and South Carolina did it again.
If these two teams were in the same division they would increase the intake of antacids among their fans ten-fold.
With scoring haymakers thrown early and often enough to rival Pacquiao-Marquez, the Titans grabbed two, two-goal leads, only to see them disappear under heavy Stingrays pressure, including a tying goal in the final minutes.
The game eventually worked its way to a shootout, where SC scored in the first two rounds and held on for a 6-5 win (2-1 SO), before 3,098 fans at the North Charleston Coliseum Saturday night.
Like the previous night, Trenton took the lead early. Kelly Zajac got his first goal as a Titan at 5:28 of the first, putting a Stephen Schultz pass behing Stingrays goalie Adam Morrison for a 1-0 lead. The pair hooked up again two minutes later – with the help of Marcel Noebels – to put the Titans up 2-0.
SC came roaring back. At 13:57 Langkow got his fifth of the year by beating Niko Hovinen (SOL, 2-4-0-2, 30 saves). Nine seconds later the game was tied when Hunter Bishop found the back of the net. Still not done, Tyler Johnson grabbed his third of the year three minutes after that to give the ‘Rays a 3-2 lead.
Trenton countered with 1:12 remaining in the period when Ryan Grimshaw took a wrister from the left point. Ian Slater got a piece of it and Kory Nagy hammered it home, tying the game at 3-3 with his first goal as a Titan.
Trenton looked to get the lead back and did when Slater scored five minutes into the second, giving the Titans a 4-3 lead and chasing Morrison – a Providence (AHL) Bruins product – after just 12 shots.
Ryan Zapolski, who beat Trenton the night before in overtime, came in and was immediately under fire. He stood his ground – including turning away a Jacob Cepis penalty shot at the eight minute mark – until Schultz ripped a power play blast through a Slater screen from the left point for a 5-3 lead with six minutes left in the period.
The two goal lead didn’t last long as Johnson hit his second of the night three minutes later to close the lead to 5-4 going to the third.
Action was fast and furious on both sides, but Trenton looked like they might leave with the win, until Langkow scored for the second time on the night on a fluke play. Hovinen appeared to control a stuff attempt from behind the net by Justin Courtnall. But after a couple seconds the puck dropped and Langkow was on the goal line to put it home with under two minutes left in regulation.
Daniel Koger and Johnson scored in the first two rounds of the shootout, with Andy Bohmbach countering for Trenton in Round Two. Hovinen kept the ‘Rays off the board for the last three rounds, but so did Zapolski (W, 9-4, 20 saves), who stoned Matt Mangene, Noebels and Zajac to secure the win.
These two teams won’t see each other again until January in Trenton. The Titans finish up their SC/GA road trip with their lone visit to Gwinnett to take on the Gladiators Sunday at 4:05. The call of the game by Titans’ broadcaster Daryle “The Bronc” Dobos, can be heard in Trenton on 107.7 FM The Bronc and online at 1077theBronc.com, with the pregame show starting at 3:45 pm.
AFTER THE WHISTLE
With two more assists, Noebels has scored eight points (4 G, 4 A) over the last four games and scoring in each.
The Titans have yet to lose in regulation when they score first, as their three losses have come in the OT/SO. They are 6-0-1-2 when getting the first goal.
Trenton was 1-for-2 on the PP; SC went 0-2.
Schultz celebrated his birthday a day late, scoring a goal and two assists.
Slater ended the night with a Gordie Howe = recording a goal, assist and a fighting major.