7:05 PM, March 28, 2013
Sovereign Center, Reading, PA
Titans Hold Off Furious Reading Comeback for 6-4 Road Win
READING, PA – After spotting the Reading Royals in the first 15 seconds of Thursday’s final meeting of the year, one would be curious how the Titans would respond against the top team in the Eastern Conference.
What they answered with was a vengeance.
The proud ECHL affiliate of the Flyers countered with two goals in each of the first two periods, then hanging on down a frantic stretch for an entertaining 6-4 before 4,241 fans at the Sovereign Center.
Kirk McDonald scored his 16th for Reading (46-19-3-3=98 points) before the echoes of the National Anthem had faded. But if the Titans were rattled it didn’t show.
Against a lineup getting bulked up for the post season, Trenton (31-31-4-4=70) countered at 7:52 with the 16th goal of the year for Mike Ullrich, on assist from Shane Harper and Brendan Rempel. For Rempel it was his first point as a pro, while for Harper it was a continuation of a hot run for the Co-Player of the Week, which would only get hotter.
Before Harper would light things up, Kory Nagy wanted a chance first and seven minutes later he got it. With a penalty kill unit that stopped 51 straight chances against the Royals coming in, Nagy was the tip of the spear that finished off a short-handed rush for the Titans 10th SHG (8thon the road) and a 2-1 lead after one.
Harper got into the goal column at 4:15 of the second, just as a Reading penalty expired, running the lead to 3-1. It ballooned by another eight minutes later on Nagy’s (9) second of the night.
Reading appeared to have scored in the waning seconds of the period on a wraparound stopped by the left post by Scott Wedgewood (25 saves, 20-21-3-2). Several Royals celebrated, but the goal light never went on as the referee and goal judge couldn’t tell if the puck crossed the line, much to the dismay of Reading and its fans. It would prove to be a huge no-call.
Reading attacked with back-to-back goals in the first four minutes of the third, cutting the lead to 4-3. It stayed that way until 11:27 when Harper netted his second of the night (13th of the year) past a prone Riley Gill (14 saves, 10-3) to bump the lead back to two.
Things looked like they would stay that way until with Gill pulled, another Reading power play goal with 27 seconds to play gave the Royals and the remaining fans some hope.
Those prayers were nearly after a giveaway in the Titans zone with 16.8 left to play gave MacDonald a point-blank blast from the slot. Wedgewood came up with biggest play of the night, flat-out robbing MacDonald with a lightning quick glove save to preserve the lead and eventual win, which was capped off by an empty net goal by Jesse Todd.
The Titans’ Travelling Stick Show rolls on for two more road games to complete the season, as they head to Elmira Friday and Wheeling Saturday. Both games start at 7:05 pm (pregame at 6:45 pm) and can be heard at AmericaOne.com (PPV), 107.7 FM (Trenton area) and online at 1077theBronc.com. As always The Voice of the Titans, “The Bronc” Daryle Dobos, will bring you all the action.
AFTER THE WHISTLE
Jacob Cepis picked up an assist to run the Co-Player of the Week’s point streak to four (5G/10A), joining Ullrich (10 points, 5G/5A).
Harper has increased his streak to five after a two goal, one assist night. His total in that stretch jumps to 16 points (9G, 7A)
Trenton has now won 8-of-11.
The Titans have taken the season series with Reading. Trenton finished 8-6-0-1 after winning six of the last 8 against the Reading. The Royals end with a 7-5-3 mark against Trenton.
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