SUBMITTED BY JEFF TOWER – SACKVILLE, N.B. – The Tantramar Titans had a busy week, and the wear and tear took its toll.
They started off by hosting St. Stephen High for a regular season matchup Jan. 2 in an afternoon tilt. In what was easily the best-officiated game of the year, the Titans came out on top in overtime 4-3.
The Spartans played their best game of the year so far and jumped out to a 3-1 lead before the Titans stepped up and took over. Jared Prescott sealed the deal with one of his two goals in overtime, while affiliate Riley Estabrooks and Spencer Acton also chipped in on the scoreboard. Acton also added an assist, Ben Kummer added two assists and Alex Robertson, Justin Vogels, affiliate Oliver Longpre, Zach Lloyd and Blair Estabrooks also had helpers. The Titans outshot the Spartans 36-23, with Eddie DeJesus being tagged with the win.
The Titans then took part in the Moncton High School Classic.
The first game was against College Belliveau, a first place team from Winnipeg. Belliveau came out hitting, trying to control the game, but the Titans held strong and pushed back with a 4-1 win over the eventual tournament champs. Tyler Long started his torrid scoring pace with two, Lloyd and Alex Hall each scored, and assists went to Jack Estabrooks with two, Jacob Estabrooks Jeff Lafford, Kyle Trenholm, Robertson, Prescott and Kummer.
The game was tied 1-1 going into the final period and Sam Tower made several stellar stops before TRHS capitalized three more times. College Belliveau was very surprised to drop the game to a AA team, considering they have only lost twice this year at the AAA level in Manitoba.
The Marie Esther Vikings of Shippagan were up next, and this was the Titans first look at their old foes from the Northern Conference.
Big and hard hitting, the Vikings game plan of heavy hitting served them well and they managed a 3-3 tie against the battered Titans.
Long again sniped two, and Jack Estabrooks scored the other, with assists going to Lloyd and Acton. By this time the Titans were starting to wear down, having four starters sidelined due to injuries and other players battling and double shifting. Nonetheless, the Titans kept up playing a 200-foot game.
Dejesus played a solid game between the pipes.
Co-host Moncton High was next on the schedule. MHS was riding high just coming off a big emotional win.
Highly questionable calls kept the flow of the game in MHS’s favour.
The Titans managed to squeeze out a 2-2 tie, much to the delight of the MHS faithful. Trenholm scored with a rocket from the point, and Jack Estabrooks scored from a hardworking setup from Lafford and Long.
The L’Oddyssee Olympians were on the menu for Saturday, the last game of the round robin and the Titans only game for Saturday.
No mercy was shown and the Titans shocked the Dieppe school 6-3. Long again scored, Jacob Estabrooks had a goal and two assists, and Andrew Steele, Trenhom, Hall and Lloyd added one each.
The victory moved TRHS into second place in the nine-team division. It also setup a rematch with L’Odyssee.
With a winter storm on the radar the boys stayed in Moncton Saturday night to ensure a safe arrival for the 9 a.m. Sunday game.
The Titans gave it their all but the tank was empty. By the end of the game the fifth Titan had been put on the sidelines and playing that many games in such a short period proved to be their undoing. The final score was 4-2 with an empty net goal. Long again scored two, with Robertson setting up the first and Tower stood tall in net.
L’Oddyssee went on to lose to eventual champion Belliveau College and the Titans can take pride in knowing they beat both finalists convincingly with such a short, injury-plagued bench.
Jack Estabrooks was named to the all-star team, Tyler Long finished third in points and Sam Tower finished tied for third in goals against average. It was a great showing for the AA school playing against mainly AAA teams.
The Titans now have an overall record of 15 wins, three losses, three ties and one double-overtime loss. They play host to Sussex High Friday night at 8 p.m. at the Tantramar Veterans Memorial Civic Centre.