NORTH YORK, Ont. – After a couple of successful games, the Toronto Titans ran into a brick wall on Sunday afternoon.
The midget team was shut down 3-0 by the Junior Canadiens in GTHL action at Chesswood Arena.
“Their goalie was a big part of their game tonight,” coach Jason Nobili said after the game. “He made some real big saves. He made one that was right on the goal line. That goal would have made it 2-1, but we couldn’t find ways to score.”
Toronto (1-7-1) fired 30 shots at net, led by Rocky DiBratto’s six, but Habs keeper Christian Mattiace turned aside every one.
Chase Spencer scored twice for the Junior Canadiens (5-3-1), including one on the power play. Cameron Hough had the other goal.
Mattiace was all over the net, in position every time to turn aside Titan offerings, and the Habs have not allowed a goal in over 100 minutes of play.
Connor Winters made 22 saves in the loss.
For the Titans, it’s a tough return to earth following the win against North York and the draw against the Senators. However, the team is determined to put this loss, and this month in the rear view mirror.
“It’s a long season, but it’s a tight loop and every team is going to be really close,” captain Michael Keating said.
“If we keep doing everything we can to get better as a team, that’s going to help us.”
“Even though we lost, there were good moments for our team, and we just have to build on those,” winger Ryan Nicol said.
“We can’t get down on ourselves,” forward Jake Cella said. “Once you get down, it’s never good. We have to keep positive.”
“We have practice on Wednesday and we have to make sure everything’s crisp, hard and fast.”
Of pressing concern is the Titans offense. The team has only scored four goals in the past four games, three of which came from Matteo Pecchia, and are averaging one goal per game this season.
“First order of business is to get pucks and bodies towards the net, and I thought we did a better job of that tonight,” Nobili said.
“But when we had positions to capitalize, we either didn’t bear down and get them or their goalie made some saves.”
The players know that they need to step up.
“We have to bear down in front of the net, fight for pucks and jam at them trying to push them in,” Cella said.
“We need to keep doing the little things that will give us more chances to score,” Dibratto said after the game.
“If we can keep winning the board battles and getting screens that block the goalie’s vision off, we’ll hopefully get a few more in.”
“We have to shoot score every time,” Keating said. “We’re not going to have those clean warm-up shots. We have to learn to shoot under pressure and bury those rebounds.”
Notes: Cameron Rayner had the play the game using backup goaltender Dylan Tower’s jersey, as he did not the away kit … Pecchia’s goal-scoring streak comes to an end at three games … Spencer’s goal on the power play was the first allowed by the Titans in five games … Next game for the Titans is next Sunday against Don Mills Flyers …