Titans outlast Ice Wolves in double OT to advance to Final
Robertson Cup Semi-Final #2, Game 3: New Jersey 4 vs. New Mexico 3 (2OT) (New Jersey wins series, 2-1) - Thanks to a power play goal from Ryan Coughlin in the second overtime and 46 saves from goalie Andrew Takacs, the New Jersey Titans beat the New Mexico Ice Wolves 4-3 in Game 3 of their best of 3 Semi-Final series on Sunday night at Fogerty Arena in Blaine. After losing Game 1, it was the second straight game that the Titans needed overtime to beat the Ice Wolves to advance to the title game.
After a scoreless 1st period, the Ice Wolves got on the board first early in the 2nd period as Alex Gomez broke free on a shorthanded breakaway and slid a one-handed shot through the legs of Titans goalie Andrew Takacs for a 1-0 lead. Six minutes later, the Titans responded as Brendan Dumas got a pass in the high slot and wristed a shot through traffic past a screened Ice Wolves goalie Beni Halasz to knot the game at 1-1. Later in the 2nd period, the Ice Wolves regained their one-goal lead as defenseman Brandon Holt creeped in the from the point and got a pass from behind the net to one-time and power play blast home for a 2-1 lead.
Early in the 3rd period, the Titans equalized as off a face-off win, Brendan Dumas picked up a loose puck and walked through the New Mexico defense and put a shot over the blocker glove of Halasz to tie the game at 2-2. Once again, the Ice Wolves would respond to take their third lead of the night as Jack Dalton picked up a loose puck, juked the defenseman and then went bar down on Takacs for his first goal of the playoffs. The Titans would strike back again with some late 3rd period magic as with Takacs pulled, the Titans set up control in the New Mexico end and a pass over to a wide open Anthony Calafiore netted a one-timer goal and tied the game at 3-3 with 1:30 remaining in regulation.
The first overtime had plenty of chances for both teams, including multiple power plays, but neither team could solve Halasz or Takacs. In the 2nd overtime a 5-minute major penalty on New Mexico was exactly what the Titans needed as they wore down the Ice Wolves with some offensive pressure. It finally paid off as Tommy Bannister got the puck to Ryan Coughin in front, who fired a shot through the legs of Halasz for the game and series winner as New Jersey advanced to the Robertson Cup Championship game.
Takacs made 46 saves in the win, while Halasz made 37 saves in the loss.
With the win, the Titans advance to the Robertson Cup Championship game on Tuesday, May 24th at 7pm where they will face the Anchorage Wolverines.