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Ivan nets winner as Eagles down Titan

BATHURST – The new bench boss of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan is happy with how the team played despite a 4-3 overtime loss to the Cape Breton Eagles at the K.C. Irving Regional Centre Thursday night.

“It’s been a hectic 72 hours for the players and for everybody and I think that kind of shows like how we got off to our first period. We were just a little bit sluggish, and guys were a little bit nervous,” said Jason Clarke, following the game. “But I thought once we settled down in the game…we dominated really, to be honest with you.”

Thursday marked Clarke’s debut as head coach of the Titan. “I mean I was really, happy. I mean the difference in the game is, you know, their goaltender played better than ours.”

Cape Breton outshot the Titan 12-11 in the first period and registered three of their four goals during that time. Kiefer Lyons, Conor Shortall and Emile Hegarty-Aubin scored their respective goals at 2:03, 6:35 and 11:01 to pull away with a 3-0 lead early on. The Titan started to close the gap with a back-to-back goals by Cole Huckins and Marc-Andre Gaudet at 11:11 and 11:27 in the second period to bring the game 3-2.

At 11:39 in the final frame Dylan Andrews netted a back-handed goal to tie the game 3-3. Cole Larkin and Ben Allison had the assists on the game-tying goal for the home team and help force overtime. Less than 40 seconds into overtime Ivan Ivan slipped the puck past Jan Bednar to win the game 4-3.

Gaudet and Doucet earned the first and second stars of the night for the Titan, while Eagles netminder Remi Delafontaine was given the third star for stopping 43 of the home teams 46 shots on net. The Titan will meet Cape Breton again tomorrow night when they host them in the second of a three-game  against the Nova Scotia-based team this week.

Clarke said he thinks the Titan will be “fine” come puck drop tomorrow night. “I think we settled in now. Like, you know, you can see it in the second, third period that we kind of got into the rhythm and the way we wanted to play,” he said. “And I think now the guys understand exactly what needs to be done to accelerate our strengths.”

“And I thought that the kids did a really good job for 40 minutes. So, we just (need) more of the same tomorrow night.”

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