Although the Trenton Titans lost all three of their games this weekend to extend their losing streak to four, they managed to pick up a pair of points to gain a little ground in the standings.
The Titans have only won one of their last seven contents, as their lone victory came in a high-scoring shootout. With seven losses in their last nine games, Trenton hopes a four-game homestand this week starts to point them in a positive direction.
The Titans dropped their first contest last weekend at the North Charleston Coliseum by a score of 3-2 in overtime on Friday to the South Carolina Stingrays.
Damon Kipp beat Scott Wedgewood 1:50 into overtime to hand the Boston Bruins’ affiliate the additional point in the standings. South Carolina’s Ryan Zapolski out played Wedgewood, as the Stingrays’ netminder denied 29 of Trenton’s 31 shots, while Wedgewood allowed three goals on 17 shots. Wedgewood’s 14 shots against is his lowest shot total for any game where he’s earned a decision this season. Ian Slater gave the Titans an early lead with his third goal of the year just over three minutes in off of assists from Jacob Drewiske and Marcel Noebels. With Trenton down 2-1 late in the game, Andy Bohmbach deposited his 10th tally of the season with 7:38 left to push the Titans into their third game this year that needed more than 60 minutes. The defeat was Trenton’s third straight road loss.
The next day the Titans lost 6-5 in a shootout to the same squad at the same location.
Tyler Johnson had the decisive goal in the skills competition to hand Niko Hovinen and Trenton the loss. With 30 saves before the shootout, Hovinen made the most saves he’s had in a single loss this season in what turned out to be his second shootout defeat of the campaign. Kelly Zajac registered his first two goals of the year, as he scored his tallies 2:05 apart in the opening frame to give the Titans a 2-0 lead 7:33 into the tilt. Stephen Schultz had Trenton’s final goal of the contest and provided the primary assists on both of Zajac’s goals for his first three-point game in the ECHL. Slater made himself noticed yet again, as he had a goal and an assist with six shots on net along with a fight against South Carolina’s Daniel Koger. Noebels had secondary assists on Zajac’s second and Schultz’s marker, while six of Trenton’s skaters finished the game minus-2 or worse.
Zapolski earned his second straight victory over the Titans, while Flyers’ 2009 draft pick Adam Morrison was pulled early in the second after he allowed four goals on 12 shots. The defeat marked the first time Trenton earned points in consecutive games since they lost 4-3 to the Reading Royals in a shootout on November 11 and beat the Elmira Jackals 2-1 five days later.
The Titans finished the weekend with a 4-2 loss to the Gwinnett Gladiators at The Arena at Gwinnett Center on Sunday. With the game tied at two midway through the third period, Tyler Murovich potted his fifth of the season for the game-winner, while Doug Jones iced the victory with an empty-netter. Wedgewood stopped 25 of 28 to suffer his third straight loss and his fifth in his last six appearances. Although he recorded his first goal of the year, Andrew Conboy also received a game misconduct for throwing equipment. Conboy also earned the secondary assist on Slater’s fourth goal in as many games to serve as one of two Titans with a two-point affair, as Kory Nagy registered his second straight two-point game with a pair of helpers. The defeat dropped the Titans to 4-7 in games decided by two goals or more.
The overtime and shootout loss give the Titans a slight edge over the Wheeling Nailers for last place in the Eastern Conference. With 19 points in 22 games, Trenton is 20th in the 23-team ECHL. Since the Titans are 0-2-2 in their last four games, they hold the ECHL’s longest current losing streak.
In Trenton’s only transaction of the week, defenseman Mike Banwell signed a professional try-out with the Worcester Sharks of the AHL. He appeared in one game, the Sharks’ 2-1 loss to the Connecticut Whale, and had one shot with a plus-1 rating.
While facing a need for a few wins, the Titans will encounter their longest homestand up to this point of the season, as Trenton will play their next four tilts at the Sun National Bank Center.
The first game in their homestand is against the only team below them in the conference, the Nailers, later today. Wheeling features several former Titans in Peter Lenes, Matt Germain, and Luke Pither. The Nailers’ blue line boasts Carl Sneep. Trenton is 0-1-0 against Wheeling this season, as the teams’ only meeting was a Nailers’ 3-2 win on November 28th.
Tomorrow the Titans will host the Elmira Jackals, the Ottawa Senators’ affiliate. If Trenton puts together a good weekend and the Jackals stumble, the Titans could catch Elmira in the standings, as they are only three points ahead of Trenton. Of the four meetings between the clubs this year, the Titans are 2-2-0 while the Jackals are 2-1-1.
The Titans will play the Orlando Solar Bears for the first time ever in an ECHL battle on Sunday. The Minnesota Wild’s affiliate is sitting ninth in the conference with 24 points in 25 games. The Solar Bears crease features former Pittsburgh Penguin John Curry and former Boston Bruin Hannu Toivonen. Orlando’s blue line features former New York Ranger Bryce Lampman, while Ryan Reaves is one of their forwards.
Trenton finished their week with a game against the Jackals on Wednesday.