The first place Titans will host the visiting second place Maryland Black Bears tonight at the Middletown Sports Complex with a puck drop scheduled for 7:05PM. Four points separate the two teams. This will be the Titans fifth consecutive home game out of their next seven games. After tonight’s game, the Titans will be off this upcoming weekend and will resume play on February 4 and 5 against the Northeast Generals.
Black Bears vs. Titans Overview
This will be the sixth meeting between the teams with the Black Bears winning three of the past five by a combined score of 18 – 12. Both Titans victories have come in overtime. Four the prior five games have been played at the Piney Orchard Arena.
The last time these teams met was on January 7 and 8. Nick Ring scored with fifty second remaining in overtime to give the Titans a 4 – 3 win, and Maryland won the second game of the weekend series 4 – 2.
Branden Piku (4 goals and 5 assists) and Ryan Bottrill (3 goals and 6 assists) each have nine points against the Titans while Piku has scored the most goals (four) against New Jersey. Maryland is 3 for 20 (15%) on the powerplay against the Red Buckets while the Black Bears goalies have a combined 2.14 goals against average and .923 save percentage with one shutout (Michael Morelli on opening night).
Tommy Bannister leads the Titans with four total points (3 goals and 1 assist) and goals (four) against Maryland. The Titans are 2 for 19 (11%) on the powerplay against the Black Bears while the Titans netminders have a combined 3.51 goals against average and .899 save percentage with no shutouts.
Black Bears Overview
Maryland is currently in second place in the East Division with a 21-7-3-3 record for 48 points (four behind the Titans but have four games in hand on the Red Buckets). The Black Bears are coming off a 4 – 1 road win against the Jamestown Rebels (the team’s split this past weekend’s series), and they have won six of their last ten games. The Black Bears have scored 125 goals on the season (10th in the league) while they have allowed 95 (4th best in the league). Maryland is 20 for 116 (17.2%) on the powerplay (16th in the league), and they have allowed six goals while on the man advantage. The Black Bears are 84.6% efficient on the penalty kill (9th in the league), and they have scored eight shorthanded goals.
Bottrill leads the Black Bears with 43 total points (10 goals and 33 assists) while Piku has scored the most goals (17) and game winning goals (3). Piku also has a team high +25 while Laker Aldridge has the most penalty minutes on the team with 77.
Maryland’s goaltenders have a combined 2.49 goals against average and .912 save percentage with three shutouts (Luca Di Pasquo has two while Morelli has one).
The Titans currently lead the East Division with a 25-11-2-0 record for 52 points. They are coming off a 3 – 1 home loss against the Northeast Generals (the Titans were swept by Northeast this past weekend), and they have won seven out of their last 10 games. New Jersey has scored 141 goals on the season (2nd in the league) while they have allowed 110 (14th in the league). The Titans have converted on 16.5% (23 for 139) of their chances on the powerplay (19th in the league), and they have allowed five goals while on the man advantage. The Red Buckets are 83.6% efficient on the penalty kill (11th in the league). The Titans have scored six shorthand goals.
Bannister leads the team with 44 total points (16 goals and 28 assists) and goals (16). Anthony Calafiore has a team high five game winning goals. David Posma has a team (and league) best +29. Coleman Nee has a team high 112 penalty minutes.
The Titans goaltenders have a combined 2.82 goals against average and .907 save percentage with one shutout (Andrew Takacs).