Down 3 – 1 entering the second period, the New Jersey Titans scored four unanswered goals en route to an 8 – 6 win over the visiting Maryland Black Bears to split the weekend series between the teams.
Aden Bruich opened the scoring for the Black Bears at 5:32 of the first period. After Tyler Nasca’s shot from the point was block out front, the puck was picked up by Bruich by his own beach. Bruich passed it up to Jude Kurtas who skated into the offensive zone. As soon as Bruich reached the top of the near side faceoff circle, he passed the puck to Bruich slightly to his left and Bruich took a one-timer that beat Titans netminder Patrick Pugliese to make it 1 – 0 Black Bears.
After Kyler Jeffers was sent to the box for tripping to give Maryland the man advantage, Bruich would double the Black Bears lead with 9:48 remaining in the opening period. Setting up the play at the top of the point, Logan Kons passed the puck over to Kyle Oleksiuk at the near side face off circle. Oleksiuk feed it over to Brayden Stannard on his left and Stannard took a shot that was saved by Pugliese, but the puck came right out to Bruich who tucked in the rebound behind the fallen Titans goaltender to give Maryland a 2 – 0 lead.
Two minutes after the Black Bears went up by two, Jeffers cut the Titans deficit in half. As Bruich broke out of his own zone, the newest Titan Nick DeSantis stripped him off the puck and brought it back Maryland’s zone. DeSantis left a drop pass to Cade Penney who rushed towards the net. After Penney took a shot that was saved by Black Bears netminder Andrew Takacs, the loose puck came out to Jeffers who tucked in the rebound to make it a 2 – 1 game.
With 4:41 left in the first, the Black Bears took another two-goal lead on Garrett Szydlowski’s fourth goal of the year. Wilmer Skoog picked up the puck behind the Titans net. As he waited for his line mates to join the play, he reversed and left the puck for a trailing Cameron Recchi. Recchi circled around the net to the right of Pugliese and took a sharp angled shot that was saved by the Titans netminder but Szydlowski buried the rebound to make it 3 – 1 Maryland.
Trailing 3 – 1 entering the second, Chris Garbe would cut the Black Bears lead to one just thirty-eight seconds into the middle stanza.
After Takacs made a save, the rebound came out to Gavin Gulash who was along the far side boards and sent the puck back to Ole Anderson back at the point. The defenseman took a shot that was defected by Jeffers out front but Garbe tucked in the rebound to make it 3 – 2 Maryland.
At 4:49 into the second, Kons was called for tripping to put the Titans on the power play. Twenty-one seconds later the game was tied. Michael Outzen set up the play at the middle of the far side boards. Outzen sent the puck back to Mac Wiseman at the top of the point who immediately passed it over to Mitch Machlitt. As Machlitt took a stride, he sent the puck back to Wiseman, who stepped up and took a wrister that beat Takacs short side to make it 3 – 3.
The Titans took their first lead of the game less then a minute later. As Maryland’s Kyle Oleksiuk tried to break out of his own zone, he was stripped off the puck by Jeffers. The American International College commit went to the net and took a shot that was saved by Takacs but as Jeffers was falling over Takacs, Jeffers was able to slip the rebound into the net to make it 4 – 3 New Jersey.
With 2:24 left in the second, the Titans took a two-goal lead on Nasca’s second goal of the year. After a scrum occurred in the Black Bears near side corner, the loose puck would come out to Skoog. As Skoog looked to set up, he was knocked off the puck, which went directly to Nasca. The Titans defenseman took a shot that beat Takacs blocker side to make it 5 – 3.
The teams then went onto score a combined six goals in the third period.
Maryland cut their deficit by one just 3:59 into the third when Stannard score his fourth goal of the season to make it 5 – 4 Titans.
Thirty seconds after Stannard made it 5 – 4, the Titans scored two goals in less then a minute to put the game out of reach.
With the puck down low in the Titans zone, DeSantis picked up the loose puck out of a scrum and skated down the far side boards. As DeSantis reached the slot, he took a shot that beat Cooper Black long side to give the Titans a 6 – 4 lead.
Thirty seconds later Shane Haviland put the game out of reach with his second goal of the season to give the Titans a 7 – 4 lead.
The teams then would exchange goals with Matthew Iasenza scoring his second goal of the season to close out the Titans scoring.
Pugliese stopped 23 of 29 shots while Maryland’s netminders Takacs and Black stopped a combined 21 of 28. Click here for the box score.