After a disappointing end in the first round of the playoffs, the New Jersey Titans have retooled and are ready for the new season to begin. Retooling may be an understatement, as New Jersey graduated 12 players to the next level. Moving on from last year’s roster are Eric Charpentier (Dartmouth, NCAA D-I), Joe Harney (Trinity, NCAA D-III), Owen Luik (U. of Toronto, USports), Sylas Oberting (Tufts, NCAA D-III), Tyler Sanborn (Wisconsin-Stout, NCAA D-III), Robert Hyde (SUNY-Cortland, NCAA D-III), Brady Hildreth (SUNY-Cortland, NCAA D-III), Marcus Sang (Tufts, NCAA D-III), Levente Keresztes (Budapest Jégkorong Akadémia HC, Erste Liga), Alternate Captains Michael Young (Princeton, NCAA D-I) and Brendan Dumas (Sacred Heart, NCAA D-I), and Captain Anthony Calafiore (Maine, NCAA D-I).
With such a large departure of players, the Titans will be led by returning player Dominik Bartecko, acquired last season from Amarillo, who recorded 16 goals and 36 assists last season in 54 games. Ryan Novo, Johnny McMahon, Reece Brednich, and Ethan Wongus are expected to earn larger roles after playing their first full seasons in the NAHL. Leo Schwartz and Brian Robertson return on the blueline, and Zak Brice will man the crease for his second season. From within the Titans’ organization, Arhip Sidarovich and Lucas Karlsson return for their first full season after both appeared in 5 games last season.
Over the summer, New Jersey looked to add NAHL veterans to the depleted roster, acquiring Simon Becar from Corpus Christi via trade, and drafting Cannon Lentz and Dominick Rivelli. Becar has represented his native Slovakia twice at the World Juniors Tournament, and had a goal and 7 assists in his first NAHL season last year. Lentz has recorded 7 assists over parts of two seasons with Janesville, and Rivelli has logged 84 games over parts of three seasons with the Wichita Falls/Oklahoma Warriors franchise. Rivelli also played in the BCHL last season with the Langley Rivermen, putting up 18 points in 30 games.
The East Division, home to the Titans since their inception in 2015, has also been retooled, with the addition of two expansion franchises in the Rochester Jr. Americans and New Hampshire Mountain Kings. Now with nine teams in the division, fans attending games at the Middletown Sports Complex will see an even larger number of opponents. Last season, the Titans held a .500 or better record in the regular season against all but one team in the division and finished in 2nd place, behind the eventual Division Champion Maryland Black Bears.
New Jersey prepared for the regular season with three preseason games, hosting Danbury twice and visiting Philadelphia once. The Titans won all three games, 7-3 and 8-3 over Danbury, and 4-2 over Philadelphia. Rivelli led all New Jersey scorers with 5 goals and 2 assists, and Sidarovich recorded 3 goals. Notably, New Jersey scored 5 shorthanded goals over the three games.
The Titans begin the 2023-24 regular season this weekend, bussing up to the Hat City to face the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks. The campaign begins on Friday with a 7:00pm faceoff, and a rematch on Saturday with the same start time. Zak McGinniss will bring you all the action live on the new NAHLtv streaming service. Last season, the Titans won all 12 games against Danbury, and have won their last 15 games against their division rival dating back to November 18th, 2021. The Titans then fly off to Blaine, MN, for the NAHL Showcase, where they will face the Minnesota Wilderness, Wisconsin Windigo, Austin Bruins, and defending Robertson Cup Champions Oklahoma Warriors over the course of four days. Another weekend on the road in Massachusetts against the Northeast General awaits after the Showcase before the Titans’ Home Opener on Friday, September 29th versus the expansion Rochester Jr. Americans at 7:30pm.
The New Jersey Titans, proud members of the North American Hockey League, are entering their ninth season at the Middletown Sports Complex in Middletown, NJ. The 2022 Robertson Cup National Champions, the Titans have made the playoffs in every season since their founding in 2015. Season ticket packages will be available soon, in time for the 2023-24 season home opener versus Rochester on September 29th. Follow the New Jersey Titans on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok today!