SACKVILLE, N.B. – It’s proven that defense wins championships.
With a stifling defense and timely scoring, the Titans claimed the Carl Ward Invitational for a second straight year.
Having a goals-against average over the five games of a measly 0.400, the Titans cruised through the round robin before dropping Bathurst High 4-0 in the semi and for the second time dropping Clement Cormier in the final, 2-1.
On Thursday night, Tyler Long led the way with a goal and two assists, Jared Prescott with two assists and Seth Smith with a goal and an assist to beat Sussex High 3-1. Long was awarded player of the game and Thomas Allen was solid, taking the win in nets.
On Friday TRHS’s old nemesis The Woodstock High Thunder came to town. Always a hard-hitting affair when these clubs get together, tempers were running hot, but the Titans controlled the game throughout and came out with a 4-0 victory. Player of the game Alex Hall was moved up to forward and it paid immediate dividends as the “Superpest” had three assists. Long chipped in two goals, Jeff Lafford and Smith each had a goal and affiliate player Corey Gould also assisted on Lafford’s goal. Tower notched the shutout.
On Saturday, the tournament favourites going into the weekend, Moncton High, were on the menu. The game started quite sloppy and it wasn’t until the second period before the Titans began to dominate. The final score was 3-0, with Long continuing to find the back of the net with two, Lafford with a beauty and Jack Estabrooks and Smith picking up helpers. Lafford picked up player of the game honours for his efforts. Thomas Allen continued his hot start, picking up the shutout victory. This ended the round robin portion of the tourney and sent home Moncton, Bernice MacNaughton, St. Stephen and Sussex.
For the semi finals, the top-seeded Titans were lined up to play the second seed in the other division, the Bathurst High Phantoms. The Titans outshot the Phantoms by a 3-1 ratio and skated to a 3-0 victory. Player of the game Dakota Melanson played easily his best game of the year, scoring the first goal and Lafford again sniped a tally, with Hall and Smith each adding one. Rookie Riley Estabrooks notched two assists, and Oliver Longpre Owen O’Neal and Zach Lloyd each added a helper. Tower was not busy with his second straight shutout. This game, along with Clement Cormier storming back from a three-goal deficit to defeat Woodstock 4-3 with seconds to go, staged a rematch from last year’s final.
Easily the most exciting game of the tournament with end-to-end chances, Tyler Long again opened the scoring midway through the second with a wrist shot beating the Cavalier netminder cleanly. They traded power play opportunities and breakaways going each way until Owen O’Neal scored from the high slot. Both Prescott boys, Jared and Mason, along with Jacob Estabrooks added assists and Tower was only beaten on a two-tip shot through traffic, off the post and in. The Titans fought off two late penalties and held on for the victory. Tower was named player of the game for his efforts in the victory, keeping the banner in the confines of the Tantramar Veterans Memorial Civic Centre.
The squad now has a few days off from games as this completed a remarkable marathon of 14 games in 16 days, with a record of 10 wins, three losses and one tie. The Titans next games are not until Dec. 15 and 16 as they play host to Sussex High and Rothesay High. Any minor hockey players wearing their team jerseys get in for free and the Chase the Ace is now close to $600.