By Brian Compton
©The Trentonian 2005
TRENTON, N.J. – Scott Bertoli sure is happy to still be playing midway through the month of May.
At this point the last two years, Bertoli was already on the golf course. The Titans were eliminated by Atlantic City in the first round back in 2003 and missed the postseason for the first time in franchise history a season ago.
Tuesday night, however, Bertoli was involved in one of the biggest games of his life. The Titans beat the Alaska Aces in Game 5 of the National Conference Finals, taking a 3-2 series lead to Anchorage. The Titans left for Alaska Wednesday in preparation for Game 6, which takes place Friday night at Sullivan Arena.
“It’s been a few years since I’ve been in this position,” said Bertoli, who has three goals and 12 assists in 12 postseason contests. “I felt like I haven’t done as much as I would have liked to have done the previous four games. We need to have a bigger game — or two, or three — whatever it’s going to take to propel this team to the next round. It’s exciting.”
The Titans knew heading into Tuesday night’s game that it was going to take a 60-minute effort to pull out a victory.
A slow start certainly had a lot to do with Sunday’s 4-3 overtime loss. Bertoli was not about to use the travel from Anchorage and the four-hour time difference as a reason for the Titans’ sluggish performance.
“That’s not an excuse,” Bertoli said. “They’re getting off to good starts, and we’re not. For whatever reason, we haven’t gotten off to good starts. That’s happened this year before. We can’t just keep relying on the third period.”