Titan fall just short against Memorial Cup hosts
BATHURST – The new-look Acadie-Bathurst Titan hit the ice Tuesday night for the first time since the trading period came to a close as they took on the Halifax Mooseheads. With close to ten new faces joining the team since the beginning of the christmas break, the Titan had a much different looking roster than the last time these two teams met.
Former Titan property Jake Ryczek got the Mooseheads on the board first just 2:44 into the action. However a few minutes later Anderson MacDonald scored a beautiful goal to even it up at one goal apiece. Evan MacKinnon and Mathieu Desgagnes picked up the assists. Near the midway mark of the opening frame Mathieu Samson notched his first goal as a Titan to give the home team a 2-1 lead with Liam Leonard and Oliver Turan getting helpers. Halifax would bring the came back to even with a goal from Maxim Trepanier at 17:05 and it would stay that way through one period.
Just under two minutes into the second period Ryczek put the Mooseheads back in front with his second tally of the night. A high sticking penalty to Justin Barron proved costly for the visitors as newly-named Titan captain Cole Rafuse potted his ninth of the season to tie the game once again at 4:03. Ian Smallwood and Desgagnes picked up the assists. A goal from former Titan Samuel Asselin at 16:05 to make it 4-3 Mooseheads through 40 minutes of play.
At 7:01 of the third period Bathurst drew even one more time. William Champagne chose to shoot on a 2-on-1 and he made no mistake ripping one past Alexis Gravel for his fourth of the year. Antoine Leblanc and Felix-Antoine Drolet got the assists. With just under three minutes remaining Justin Barron flew into the Bathurst zone and fired a shot over a falling Drolet past Grametbauer in the Titan net to restore the Halifax lead. Despite a few very close chances in the dying seconds of the game, the Mooseheads hung on for a 5-4 win over the Titan.