Hungry Jackals have afternoon feast in defeat of Titans

Afternoon hockey back on home ice was no panacea for the Trenton Titans, who were looking to shake off a pair of road losses over the weekend.

Rob Bellamy scored the first and last goals in the contest, while captain Jean Bourbeau tallied a goal and one assist, while blocking several shots in the Elmira Jackals’ 4-1 victory on Monday.

Maxime Clermont picked up the win after stopping 30-of-31 shots, with Jordon Southorn adding another goal for the victorious visitors (28-20-4)

Scott Wedgewood made his 18th start in the last 21 games, but fatigue was not a factor in his 36-save defeat. The 20-year-old continues to lead all rookie netminders with 2,193 minutes played already this season. Jacob Cepis recorded the lone Trenton (20-26-7) tally, in the third period.

Cepis took a page out of Elmira’s offensive-zone attack manual to get Trenton its first goal of the afternoon. He battled behind Clermont, snagged a loose puck and wheeled in front, lifting his second-chance rebound into the net at 4:46 of the third.

After failing on a key power play just shy of the nine-minute mark, Elmira upped its advantage to 3-1 after Southorn hit the back of the net on a shot from the point.

Another man advantage went by the wayside, this time with Wedgewood pulled in the final minutes, and Bellamy capped the day on an empty-netter with 45 seconds to go.

A relatively sleepy first period was framed by two fights which occurred within a two-second span of each other.

Just shy of the six-minute mark, Alex Carrier dropped the gloves with Kevin Harvey and both players largely jockeyed for position and held onto the shoulder yokes of each other’s uniforms for a good minute.

The second one, undertaken after the resulting faceoff, found Trenton’s Doug Clarkson tag his opponent Alex Beauregard with a pop square in the face from the get-go. Beauregard spent the remaining seconds of that scrap trying to maintain his balance and duck Clarkson’s fists which narrowly missed several times.

Despite the jump in play, the Titans showed signs of fatigue on the defensive end against a quicker, more skilled and fluid Jackals front line, and it came back to haunt them in the dying seconds of the period.

After backing in when Steven Kaunisto carried the puck through the offensive zone, Bellamy was able to walk right in and put a shot on net which Wedgewood stopped, but with no Titans backcheckers in sight, Bellamy was able to flip the rebound home with 12.2 seconds on the clock.

Things looked a bit bleaker for the hosts with 8:52 played in the second. Again, the Titans backed into their own zone, and Brandon Blandina zipped right past Blake Kessel on the left-wing side, cut to the net and flipped a perfect pass across the crease for an easy tap-in by Bourbeau for a 2-0 Elmira edge.

Notes: Coming into the contest, the clubs combined to score an average of 7.6 goals per contest…Clermont and Wedgewood are both Devils draft picks, with the former selected in the sixth round of the 2010 draft and the latter taken three rounds earlier…Trenton fell to 4-5-1 against Elmira this season…Titans captain Andy Bohmbach struggled through the contest, held to two shots and a minus-one with an assist on Cepis’ tally…These teams will play once again in Trenton on Friday night…Clermont improved to 4-0-1 against the Titans, while Wedgewood fell to 3-5-1 vs. the Jackals…Trenton’s top-ranked penalty-killing unit held the fort on Elmira’s lone power-play chance.