The Trenton Titans split their two games in Elmira against the Jackals last weekend to snap a long losing streak.
The six-game losing streak that lasted three weeks, and saw five losses to the Reading Royals, has dropped the Titans to 12th in the Eastern Conference. Trenton looks to win three out of their last four with two home games this weekend against a pair of opponents who aren’t the Royals or Jackals.
The Titans ended their losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Jackals last week at First Arena. After failing to score a single goal for the Kalamazoo Wings in 11 games earlier this season, center Justin Taylor opened the scoring in the middle of the second period for his first goal as a Titan, as Kory Nagy assisted on the short-handed tally. The goal came while the team was killing off the newly acquired Kelsey Wilson’s spearing major. A little less than seven minutes later, Stephen Schultz deposited his fifth off the season off a feed from Ray DiLauro. Jack Downing scored for Elmira in the third period, but Niko Hovinen held on for his first win since his ECHL debut on October 12 against the Greenville Road Warriors with 20 saves on 21 shots. The victory was Trenton’s first since their 4-1 win over the Toledo Walleye, an affiliate for the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, on October 26. It marked the first time the Titans won on the road since their 4-3 decision on October 19 over the Evansville IceMen, an affiliate for the Columbus Blue Jackets and St. Louis Blues.
The next day Elmira put a 5-1 beating on the Titans. Although they only out shot Trenton by two, the Jackals scored the game’s first five goals, four of which came in the second period. Andrew Rowe had a two-goal performance and Rob Bellamy registered his third goal of the season, as the Titans lost by four goals or more for the first time since their 5-1 defeat on October 27 against Toledo. Hovinen allowed five goals against for the first time this season, as he stopped 24 of Elmira’s 29 shots on net. Andy Bohmbach recorded his fourth goal in a three-game span with Trenton’s only goal, which came on the man advantage with 7:50 left in regulation. The contest marked the third time out of the 14 games they have played this season where Trenton has allowed at least five goals against.
Finding the back of the net is still a problem for the Titans, as they have the second-lowest goal total in the conference. They have scored the third-fewest goals in the 23-team ECHL, but the Las Vegas Wranglers, who have seven less goals than the Titans, have played two less games.
With a record of 6-7-1, one has to wonder where the Titans would be with a better record against the Reading Royals. Trenton has gone 2-4-1 against the Royals, a team that sits second in the ECHL with 23 points. If the Titans had won just two of the five straight they had recently lost to the Royals, they would be sitting in eighth place right now instead of being at the bottom of the conference.
The Titans were involved with several transactions this week, many of which came after their pair of games. Their first move was adding Eric Swanick as the emergency backup goaltender. After the netminder didn’t see the ice this weekend the Titans released him.
As for their interaction with the Adirondack Phantoms, the Titans added a forward and a defenseman from the Flyers’ AHL affiliate while one of their highest point-producing forwards was sent up to the Phantoms. Both center Andrew Johnston and defenseman Matt Konan were added to the Titans’ roster, while Jason Akeson was transferred to Adirondack. Johnston had one goal in 10 games, while Konan has yet to play a game during the 2012-2013 season. Akeson had registered two goals and eight assists this season for Trenton in 14 contests.
The Titans also released forward Pier-Olivier Morin from his Standard Player Contract. He had one goal on three shots along with a minus-4 rating in five games for Trenton this season.
After a four-game road trip to Reading and Elmira, the Titans return to Sun National Bank Center for a pair of games this weekend. The first is tonight, as the titans host the 5-11-1 Evansville IceMen, the worst team in the ECHL. Trenton is 1-0-0 against an IceMen squad that boasts Anton Blomqvist and Josh Beaulieu.
The Titans’ second game of the weekend is tomorrow night, as the Greenville Road Warriors visit Trenton. The New York Rangers’ affiliate is 11-5-1, but 0-1-0 against the Titans. The Road Warriors have current Winnipeg Jet Kenndal McArdle.
Trenton finishes the week on Wednesday with a trip to take on the Wheeling Nailers at WesBanco Arena. The affiliate for the Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins is 4-7-3 with a roster that features Stefan Chaput, Matt Germain, Luke Pither, Peter Lenes, and Carl Sneep.