Titans blanked 4-0 by Cyclones

Image courtesy of trentontitanshockey.com

Just when the Trenton Titans seemed to be heading in the right direction, the Cincinnati Cyclones made a visit to the Sun National Bank Center and hand the Philadelphia Flyers’ affiliate a 4-0 loss on Saturday.

Garrett Wilson had a two-goal game for Cincinnati, while former Trenton Devil Dan Eves and Mike Embach had two-assist games to end the Cyclones’ three-game losing streak. Michael Houser posted a 33-save shutout to end Trenton’s brief two-game winning streak.

After an overtime win on Wednesday and an 8-5 victory last night, the Titans suffered their first loss since they concluded their seven-game losing streak.

One night after they posted eight goals in a win against the Elmira Jackals, the Titans couldn’t find the back of the net once last night.

“Part of this group is we talk about consistency,” Trenton head coach Vince Williams said after the defeat. “I think with being on the road and getting in last night, and being able to duplicate last night to tonight it’s a new experience for a lot of guys that they’re going to have to get over to do. Especially if you’re going to play pro hockey. Whether it’s this level or the next level on.”

Scott Wedgewood did all he could to keep the game close, but the Titans’ defense and penalty kill eventually let the game get away from them. “For the most part, I thought I played a really good game,” Wedgewood said. “The way it added up, just a couple breakdowns. Guys were in the right spots, it’s just a matter of working a little bit harder.” Wedgewood made 19 saves in the first period, but it still wasn’t enough to keep the game tied for his club, as the Cyclones entered the middle period up 1-0.

(For the rest of Wedgewood and Williams’ comments after the loss. Thanks to TrentonTitansHockey.)

After Cincinnati killed off a Taylor Ellington cross-checking minor, the Cyclones had their turn with the man advantage, as Tyler Hostetter went off for slashing 8:25 into the game. Just 19 seconds into the power play, Trenton blue liner Connor Goggin was caught out of position, which allowed Wilson to put home his first of the game, and 16th of the season, to give Cincinnati the lead.

Hostetter wasn’t the last Titan to enter the sin bin in the first period. J.S. Berube put his team down a man with a two-minute minor for elbowing one second before the 11-minute mark of the opening stanza. Before Berube left the box, Jacob Drewiske joined him with a double minor for high-sticking to put the Cyclones on a 5-on-3 power play for 21 seconds.

Luckily for the pair, Wedgewood and the rest of his teammates managed to limit Cincinnati to just one goal in a period where they had three power-play opportunities and a 20-8 shot advantage.

In the second period, the Titans failed to convert on another power-play chance when Mike Kavanagh was sent off for tripping right before the three-minute mark. Unfortunately for Trenton, they couldn’t beat Houser with their second man advantage and saw Cincinnati convert on another one of their power plays.

Trenton defenseman Gentry Zollars was sent to the penalty box for high-sticking 6:39 into the second period. Wilson was credited with his second of the game on a shot that looked to have hit Hostetter and worked its way past Wedgewood on the Cyclones’ 29th shot of the game, which came 8:27 into the middle stanza.

Down a pair of goals, the Titans saw a chance to work their way back into the game when Josh Birkholz and Ellington spent time in the sin bin together to hand the hosts a long 5-on-3 opportunity. Less than one minute after Eves exited the penalty box for hooking, Birkholz entered for slashing. A little over a minute later, Ellington also made the trip to the box for a cross-checking minor to give Trenton a two-man edge for 54 seconds. The Titans couldn’t capitalize on the crucial situation, as they only had two shots on net before the action returned to even stere.

If the game wasn’t over with a two-goal difference and under four minutes left in the third period, David MacDonald increased Cincinnati’s lead to three goals with his third of 2012-2013. Wedgewood lost his stick on a play that resulted in an easy goal for MacDonald to make it 3-0 with 3:53 left in regulation.

After Williams pulled Wedgwood with around three minutes left, Anthony Luciani found the empty cage to polish off Cincinnati’s 4-0 road victory.

The Titans will look to rebound from the four-goal loss against the same team tomorrow at the same location, as the teams square off at 3:05pm.”We have to be a little bit sharper. Our execution level has to be higher,” Williams said about playing the same team later today.

Notes: Titans’ forward Andy Bohmbach was injured in the first period. He is expected to miss some time…The loss marked the second time Trenton was shut out in their last seven games. They’ve been shut out three times during the 2012-2013 campaign…Last night marked the fifth time this season the Titans have lost by a margin of at least four goals…Trenton is 0-2-0 against Cincinnati this season. Their first loss against the Cyclones was their first loss of the season on October 20th, 2012…Wedgewood’s 38 saves is his most in a loss this season and earned him third star of the game. His season high is 39 in a win against the Komets on December 22nd, 2012…Hostetter, Justin Taylor, and Paul Cianfrini all finished minus-2 in the loss…Jacob Cepis led all Titans with five shots on net. He finished minus-1…The Titans are currently 13th in the 14-team Eastern Conference with 37 points in 39 games. Trenton is one point behind the Kalamazoo Wings and Orlando Solar Bears, who have both played more games than the Titans…Trenton has lost four of their last five games as Sun National Bank Center. They are 2-4-0 in their last six at home with both victories coming in overtime. Their last home win in regulation was a 5-4 win against the Jackals on December 19th.