DANBURY WINS ANOTHER IN OVERTIME
BY: Zak McGinniss, Danbury Titans
DANBURY, CT – A game deadlocked at zero through two periods saw six goals scored in the third before Danbury’s Steve Brown sneaked a shot past the glove of Danville’s Storm Phaneuf 2:49 into overtime to mark Danbury’s third win in a row. Pucks and Paws night was a success at the Danbury Ice Arena on Saturday night as the Danbury Animal Welfare Society collected donations from the crowd.
The Danbury Titans came into the game riding a two game winning streak with a pair of victories over the Watertown Wolves after dropping two in a row to the Dashers by identical 4-1 scores last weekend. Meanwhile, the Dashers were coming off of a 2-1 loss at the hands of the Berlin RiverDrivers on Friday evening in New Hampshire. Getting the call in goal again for the Titans was Nick Niedert, who has not relinquished control of the crease to Nikita Ivandikov since returning from a call up to the Elmira Jackels of the ECHL.
Neither team was able to get on the board in the first period, though the Titans would outshoot the Dashers by a 12-8 margin. The second period would be a repeat of the first as Niedert and Phaneuf both made important saves to keep the score deadlocked at nil. Through two periods the Titans were 0-1 on the power play and Danville’s top-ranked power play, converting at a league-best 29%, were 0-2.
Dalton Jay would break the tie and score his 15th of the season 3:26 into the final period to give the Titans the first lead of the game. A minute and a half later Taylor Love potted his 2nd of the year and the Titans were in control. The momentum would not last for more than five minutes as Jonathan Hall scored his first of the year to pull the Dashers within one. A minute and five seconds later the Titans responded with Tyler Noseworthy knocking home a rebound to restore the two-goal lead.
Momentum would teeter on a disallowed goal minutes later as John Scully one-timed a shot home from the blue line and the Titans would have gone up by three, but referee Erik Holvig called the goal back, claiming the shot was hit by a high stick before ending up in the net. The Dashers took full advantage of the break, and Gehrett Sargis would again bring Danville back within one at the 16:34 mark. The Dashers pressed offensively again and quickly tied things up on Justin Brausen’s team-leading 21st goal of the season to draw even on the Titans with only 2:11 to go.
With a tied game and only 1:30 to go, Taylor Love would take his second penalty of the game to give the Dashers a power play with the game on the line. After forcing overtime, the Dashers began the extra period with a 4 on 3 man advantage. The Titans were able to kill the penalty, holding the league’s best power play scoreless on four opportunities. Off an offensive zone faceoff, Steve Brown found himself with the puck at the top of the blue line, and he snuck one under the glove of a screened Phaneuf to give the Titans a 4-3 overtime victory.
Danbury moves into a tie with Berlin for second place in the Federal Hockey League with the win, although the RiverDrivers have three games in hand. The Titans will be off until taking a trip up to Watertown to face off against the Wolves for the third time in their last four games for a 7:30 game on Friday night at the Watertown Municipal Arena. After that, the Titans will take things outside with Watertown, hosting the Wolves on Sunday afternoon at The Pond at Brewster Ice Arena for a scheduled 4:30 PM start under the open sky. The game will mark the last game of Danbury’s special black uniforms worn for every home game in January, and the jerseys will be auctioned off at the next Titans home game on February 11th.
The Danbury Titans, home to hockey’s most passionate fans, are entering their second season in the Federal Hockey League after finishing in first place and making a trip the Commissioner’s Cup Finals. Full season and individual game ticket plans are now on sale at DanburyTitans.com or by calling 844-DT-HOCKEY. Follow the Danbury Titans online at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.