TRENTON, N.J. - The Elmira Jackals earned a dramatic overtime win by a 5-4 score over the Trenton Titans on Saturday night at the Sun National Bank Center. The Jackals overcame a two-goal third-period deficit for a win that improved their record to 12-10-2 on the season.
The Jackals entered action on Saturday night having scored the first goal in each of their last five road games. They were able to keep the streak alive thanks to an early tally by Artem Demkov. He picked up his team-leading 12th goal 1:50 into the contest with assists going to Dustin Gazley and Justin DaCosta. Trenton rebounded with a fluky power play goal a few minutes later. Marcel Noebels took a one-timer from the far wing that Kyle Bushee blocked. The puck, though, popped into the air out of the view of goalie Maxime Clermont. It came back to the ice right at his feet and rolled across the line before he had time to react. Andrew Rowe responded in kind with a power play goal for the Jackals to restore the lead at 10:48 of the first. It was Rowe's fifth goal in as many games against the Titans with assists to Gazley and Jordon Southorn.
In the second period the Jackals were limited to nine shots on goal while Trenton registered 17 and scored on two of them. The first came after the Jackals mishandled the puck in their defensive zone and Clermont was caught out of the net trying to clear the puck out of the zone. Stephen Schultz worked the puck to Ryan Hayes in the slot and his shot went in before Clermont could get back to the net. Then, with just over four minutes to play in the second, and the Titans on a five-minute power play, Andy Bobach deflected a point shot by Blake Kessel past Clermont to put Trenton in front for the first time in the game. The Titans controlled play for most of the second and out-shot the Jackals 17-9.
In the third Trenton managed just three shots on goal but the second of that bunch scored courtesy of Stephen Schultz. It was his fifth in as many games against the Jackals this season and gave Trenton a 4-2 lead with 10:10 to play. The Jackals dug in from there and started their comeback march. Jack Downing finished off a rush play keyed by Louie Caporusso and Kyle Bushee to pull Elmira within one 2:07 after Schultz' goal. Then it was Gazley, with his third assist of the night, setting up Rowe from behind the net for his second goal to tie it with 3:41 to play. Trenton had a chance to break the tie when Jean Bourbeau was whistled for boarding with 1:40 to play but Clermont and the penalty killers shut the door and the game went to overtime.
In the extra session the Titans and Jackals each managed one shot, but Elmira's had a much bigger effect. After collecting a loose puck in the left-wing circle, Demkov skated to the goal line, cut to the netfront and slid a shot through the pads of Scott Wedgewood for the winning score. It was Demkov's second overtime winner of the season.
Clermont earned his third win of the season with 29 saves. The Jackals were 1-for-3 on the power play and 4-for-6 on the penalty kill.
By Ray Schmitt - Elmira Jackals