May 9, 2009

NLL: Titans, Roughnecks to Play for Title

from press releases

NEW YORK - The 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.

Calgary Abuses San Jose, 17-5

- The league's No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs - the Calgary Roughnecks - are heading to the Championship Game next week after defeating the San Jose Stealth 17-5 on Saturday evening in the West Division Final.

Roughnecks goaltender Matt King was outstanding in net, saving 42 of 47 shots. King blanked the Stealth through the first three quarters.

Calgary jumped out to an immediate lead when Josh Sanderson scored the game's first goal with just 2:47 off the clock in the first quarter. After Jeff Moleski made the score 2-0, Tracey Kelusky scored three straight goals to make the score 5-0.

The opening quarter ended when King flung a shot the length of the turf and drilled the back of the net that had been vacated by the Stealth with under one second left on the clock, giving the Roughnecks a 6-0 lead.

Calgary would go on to score the next nine goals of the game, leading the Stealth 15-0 after three quarters. At that point in the game, King had stopped every one of the 29 shots fired in his direction. San Jose ended the shutout 24 seconds into the final quarter when Rhys Duch finally beat King.

When it was all said and done, nine different players scored for Calgary. Kelusky led the team with five goals, followed by three from Dane Dobbie. Kaleb Toth and Scott Ranger each scored twice, while Sanderson finished with nine assists - a new Roughnecks single game record.

Zywicki led the Stealth with two goals. Colin Doyle, who finished the regular season with a league-leading total of 111 points, was held to no goals and one assist.

Tyler Richards started the game in goal for the Stealth, but both he and teammate Matt Roik rotated in and out throughout the contest. Roik finished with more minutes, playing 36:49 and stopping 23 of 31 shots. Richards stopped 13 of 21 shots.

The Roughnecks will host next week's Championship Game against the New York Titans, winners of the East Division after defeating the Buffalo Bandits 9-3 tonight. The game will be played on Friday, May 15 at 9:30pm ET/7:30pm MT from Pengrowth Saddledome.

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