New Jersey Titans goaltender Ryan Ferland turned aside all twenty-two shots he faced as he and his teammates defeated the visiting Aston Rebels 4 – 0 to stave off elimination in this best-of-five divisional finals. The Rebels lead the series two games to one.
From the opening puck drop to the game ending siren, the Titans completely dominated the Rebels. They used shutdown defense and limited the Rebels to essentially all perimeter shots.
The Titans took their very first lead in the series when they opened the scoring at the 5:15 mark of the first period. New Jersey’s Hunter Alden prevented the Rebels from breaking out of their own zone by intercepting an outlet pass. He then immediately took a shot but it went wide and into the near side corner where it was picked up by Gordie Helmuth. Helmuth slowly brought the puck up along the boards and then passed it back to Tiernan Seningen. As Helmuth skated to the top of the slot Seningen passed it to Helmuth who took a one-timer that was initially saved by Rebels goalie Mareks Mitens but the deep rebound came directly back to Helmuth who put it past the fallen Rebels netminder to make it 1 – 0 game.
Aston was fortunate that the first period ended only trailing 1 – 0 because they were outshot 15 – 6 in the opening period.
Although the Rebels came out more focused in the second New Jersey continued to pressure. Mitens had to make several key saves, including a breakaway, to keep the visitors in the game. With time winding down in the second, Nick Boyagian brought the puck out of his own zone on a three-on-two. As Boyagian entered the neutral zone he passed it to his right to Danny Eruzione. As Eruzione would bring the puck into the offensive zone he would pass the puck Andrew Husted on his right. Husted was looking for a give and go but the puck went into the far side corner. Eruzione would pick up the puck down low and passed it out in front to Boyagian who beat Mitens to give the Titans a 2 – 0 with 2:27 left in the second period.
The Titans would go up 3 – 0 with 5:32 into the final period. Zach Parrott would send a long stretch pass to Todd Goehring who was skating up along the far side boards. Goerhring found a streaking Dylan Healey in the slot and Healey would put it passed Mitens for his first goal of the playoffs.
New Jersey would finish the scoring on an empty net goal by Goerhring with thirty-six seconds left in the game. Mitens stopped 28 of 31 shots. Click here for the box score.
Game four is tonight at 7:30pm at Middletown’s Ice World. Should there be a game five it will be played tomorrow night at 7:00pm at IceWorks.