Following a tough weekend against Aston, the Knights were looking for a bounce back with a late-morning contest against the New Jersey Titans Wednesday.
The Titans began with a quick start. They opened the first half of the first period controlling the early tempo and peppered shots on the net of Knights goalie Grant Valentine.
Valentine proved up to the task, and the Knights slowly began to turn the tide. Gaining momentum on sustained offensive zone time, the Knights finally broke through. Jimmy Elser, a natural forward playing defense this day, hopped on a loose puck in his own end and took it coast to coast before beating Harrison Feeney for the game’s first goal.
Following a New Jersey penalty at 13:58, Paul Maust sifted his way through the Titans slot before feeding a pass off to Mike Morrissey who powered a goal past Feeney at 14:52. The Knights would take the 2-0 lead into the first intermission.
The Titans would renew their efforts in earnest in the second period, but would continue to be turned away by Grant Valentine. The veteran netminder repeatedly stood on his head despite New Jersey outshooting the Knights 20-9 in the period.
Matt Kidney would chase Feeney, beating him on an odd man rush at the 6:18 mark of the second period. The breakout was started by Valentine, who poked a puck up the right wing where Kidney hopped on it before streaking up ice for the eventual score.
Brandon Bussi would replace Feeney and close out the second without allowing another goal.
Anthony Cusanelli got the Titans’ scoring started after his shot was deflected in front of Valentine, to cut the lead to 3-1 with just over a minute left in the period.
Khristian Acosta would respond early in the third, as at 1:54, he beat Bussi on feeds from Curtis Carlson and Sam Antonitsch.
The two teams would trade goals in a flurry of scoring a few minutes later. The first came from Dorian Dawson, who would add more insurance with a laser from the blue line at 5:48. Less than two minutes had passed before William Riedell would rip a shot, top-shelf to beat Valentine, making the score 5-2. Andrew Jackson would cap all scoring at 8:55 with on a tic-tac-toe passing play initiated by Khristian Acosta and Reed Robinson.
Grant Valentine closed the game out in strong fashion, finishing with 48 saves on 50 shots. With the win, the Knights improved to 6-8 and snapped the Titans 8-game winning streak.
The Knights will face off against the Aston Rebels in Aston on Friday, before playing a home/away, two-game series against the Titans again on Saturday and Sunday.