3:05 PM, December 16, 2012
Sun National Bank Center, Trenton, NJ
Titans Take First Meeting With Orlando; Win 5-1
Trenton, NJ – The Titans, proud ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, defeated the Orlando Solar Bears, 5-1 on Sunday afternoon, backstopped by a 25-save performance from Niko Hovinen (3-4-0-2) and a three point night for Jacob Cepis.
The Titans (10-11-2-2, 24 pts) secured five of the six possible points during their three-game weekend home stand, beating Wheeling Friday night, 4-2, and falling 5-4 in overtime to the Elmira Jackals on Saturday. Orlando (10-14-2-2, 24 pts) has dropped three straight to start their six-game road trip.
Click here for the complete box score.
The home team came out hot, jumping out to an early lead on Marcel Alvarez’s first professional goal, a one-time blast that beat Orlando’s John Curry (9-7-2, 32 saves). Alvarez, a West Point graduate and former Black Knight standout, joined the Titans last week, and will play for the duration of his leave from military service. Tyler Hostetter and Jacob Cepis were credited assists on the goal.
Trenton continued to push the pace in the first, and doubled their lead after Cepis took a pass from Justin Taylor in the slot and fired a shot through traffic that Curry never saw. Taylor and Captain Andy Bombach each earned their first of two assists on the play. The Titans outshot the Solar Bears 20-7 in the first frame, and took a 2-0 lead into the locker room after one period.
The Orlando answer came early in the second however, in the form of a Solar Bears 5-on-3 power play goal with Hostetter out for delay of game and Kory Nagy sitting for hooking. Orlando’s C.J. Severyn eventually received credit for finishing a pass that Matt Wilson slid through Hovinen’s crease.
The home team continued to battle in the second, and would not allow the Solar Bears back into the contest. Marcel Noebels and Andy Bombach combined for another Titans goal with some pretty back-and-forth passing on a two-on-one. Noebels got the defender, and Curry, to commit on the first pass, and Bombach dished one right back that Noebels swept into the open net for his eighth of the season to put his team up 3-1 after the second stanza.
With last night’s late collapse still fresh in their minds, the Titans kept their foot on the gas in the third. Blake Kessel put the game on ice with a shot that hit an Orlando defender and beat Curry, with assists from Cepis and Taylor, and minutes later Ian Slater ripped his sixth of the year, from Nagy and Goggin, past the Orlando goalkeeper to cement the victory.
Each team connected once on the power play (TRE 1/5, ORL 1/6), and Trenton edged the Solar Bears in shots, 37-26. Hovinen earned his first win since November 16, a 2-1 victory at Elmira, and his first home victory since Opening Night, when he allowed one and made a season-high 31 saves in a 3-1 win over Greenville.
The Titans wrap up their four-game home stand Wednesday night, when they will try to avenge Saturday’s loss to the Elmira Jackals. Face-off Wednesday is set for 7:05 pm. Tickets for that game can be purchased online at TrentonTitansHockey.com, by calling (609) 341-1100, or by visiting the box office. As always, all Titans games can be heard on the home of the Titans, 107.7 FM The Bronc, or online at 1077thebronc.com with "The Bronc" Daryle Dobos, the voice of the Titans.