The Titans opened their weekend with a matchup against their Southern Conference rivals, the Hampton Huskies on Saturday morning. This would be the ninth game this season against HHS, with each team winning four and very evenly matched all year. TRHS controlled the play throughout and rolled to a 3-0 win. Tyler Long started the scoring on the power and chipped in an assist on the second goal, scored by Ryan Brown, Jacob Estabrooks added two assists and Aidan O’Neal cleanly won a draw in the third back to Jack Estabrooks who wired a slapshot to finish off the Huskies. Sam Tower continued the baffle the Huskies picking up the shutout.
Later on Saturday was a matchup with the Carlton North Stars. The only time the Titans have seen Carlton was early on in the St. Stephen Tournament, with Carlton winning both games, 3-1 and 1-0 in double overtime.
In what was easily one of the most entertaining games of the year, the Stars controlled the play early with big hits and fast skating. Tower held down the fort through the first until the Titans found some rhythm.The game was tied after one, with Jack Estabrooks scoring but again Carlton North came out fast and furious and took control of the game with two quick ones to jump up 3-1. Timeout was called and coaches Austin, Hicks and Cullihill refocused the troops and TRHS started to get things rolling. Passes got a little crisper and the puck was getting deeper into the Stars end. The Titans added a Ben Kummer bomb from the point late in the second to cut the deficit down to one entering the third. Jared Prescott and Alex Robertson added assists.
Early in the third, Jacob Estabrooks managed to shoot from centre to give the team time to change and get fresh players on the ice. To everyone’s surprise, the shot handcuffed the CNHS goaltender and squeaked through to tie the game at three. Carlton again powered their way through but it wasn’t until shifty Alex Robertson scored unassisted to take the lead. Tower shut the door the rest of the way and despite being mugged Brown sealed the deal with an empty netter for a final score of 5-3 for the Titans.
With TRHS sitting at 2-0, they had secured advancement but had a Sunday morning matchup with Thomas Albert of Grand Falls, who desperately needed a win.
Despite sitting much of the first period drinking Pepto Bismol and fighting the flu, Spencer Acton scored a gorgeous goal and O’Neal also scored from a great feed by Brown during the second period to play spoilers and end Thomas Albert’s season. Eddie Dejesus was fantastic throughout the game with timely saves.
In the following game it was Carlton North beating the host Huskies 4-2, punching their ticket to extend their season and ending Hampton’s. Also joining them are James M. Hill Tommies of Chatham and Roland Pepin Predateurs of Campbellton.
The Titans’ first game is Friday night at 7 p.m. against the Tommies, then Saturday at noon versus the Stars and again at 8 p.m. against the Predateurs. The top 2 teams will play for the Provincial championship banner in a one game, winner takes all match on Sunday at 1 p.m. It promises to be fantastic hockey. All four teams have been dominant all year and have proven to be among the very best, including all of the AAA programs.