TITANS SHUT DOWN BANDITS 9-3, ADVANCE TO FINAL
Vinc stops 41 of 44 shots to help Titans advance to Championship Game
05/07/2009The New York Titans are the 2009 East Division Champions after defeating last year's NLL Champions - the Buffalo Bandits - on Saturday night at Prudential Center by the final of 9-3. Titans goaltender Matt Vinc was named the game MVP after making an incredible 41 saves on 44 shots faced.
The goal scoring got off to a slow start, as Jordan Hall's goal at the 7:20 mark of the first quarter stood as the only tally of the opening period. In that first quarter, Bandits goaltender Ken Montour saved 12 of 13 shots faced while Vinc stopped all nine shots that he saw. The story was not much different in the second quarter, with the Titans outscoring the Bandits 2-1 in the period to take a 3-1 lead into halftime. Kevin Dostie scored the only goal for the Bandits in the half.
At the halfway mark, Vinc had made 19 saves compared to 21 by Montour.
The Titans took control of the game in the third quarter by scoring the first three goals out of halftime; Brendan Mundorf, Matt Alrich and Mike McLellan delivered the scores. After Sean Greenhalgh and Mike Accursi scored back-to-back goals to cut the Bandits' deficit to 6-3, New York responded with the final three goals of the game. Pat Maddalena and Casey Powell each scored before the end of the third quarter and Powell delivered the only fourth-quarter score in the contest.
Vinc picked up right where he left off in the regular season. The Bandits averaged 14 goals/game during the 2009 regular season but were unable to figure out Vinc. On March 28, New York defeated the Bandits 11-9 in a game where Vinc made 50 saves on 59 shots faced. On April 11 at Prudential Center, New York defeated Buffalo 12-9 behind 41 saves and nine goals allowed by Vinc.
Powell led the Titans with seven points tonight (two goals, five assists). Maddalena also added two goals to go with two assists.
Three different players - Dostie, Greenhalgh and Accursi - scored the three Buffalo goals. Mark Steenhuis and John Tavares, both of whom tied for the league lead in goals with 51 during the regular season, finished with two assists apiece. Montour saved 27 of 35 shots faced in 44:24 of play. He was replaced in net by Mike Thompson with 36 seconds left in the third quarter after colliding with Powell.
The Titans will play in the Championship Game next week against the Calgary Roughnecks, winners of the West Division after beating the San Jose Stealth 17-5 tonight. The game will be played on Friday, May 15 at 9:30pm ET/7:30pm MT from Pengrowth Saddledome.