Entering last weekend’s three-game set against the Johnstown Tomahawks, Gavin Gulash only had one goal in his first 13 games with the New Jersey Titans.
Coming into Thursday night’s game against the Philadelphia Rebels, he now has five.
The Red Bank, N.J. native was named the NAHL second star of the East Division after recording four goals against the Tomahawks, including a hat trick in a 9-6 win on Friday.
“Any time you see guys putting the time and work in, and really simplifying their game and then being rewarded for it is a great learning point,” head coach Craig Doremus said. “Gavin has been willing to learn and grow and it culminated this weekend where he was able to find the back of the net with some frequency.”
Now with four goals in his last three games, Gulash said it was a confidence booster for him and hopes to build off that performance.
“It’s been a tough start to the year offensively for me, so it was definitely nice to get the monkey off my back and have a good weekend,” he said.
For most of the season, Gulash has been working on a line with Matthew Cameron and Oliver MacDonald. Despite losing the last two out of three games against Johnstown, that line combined for 11 points and was New Jersey’s most reliable combination that weekend.
“I’m proud for him. (Gulash) has been working his tail off all year and to see him finally get rewarded is great to see,” said Cameron, who finished the weekend himself with two goals and two assists.
Oliver MacDonald picked up three assists in Friday’s win, with two of them coming on Gulash’s goals. He said before Friday’s game, he spoke with his linemates and talked about keeping their game-plan simple.
“I think in the beginning of the season, we struggled, especially as rookies. We weren’t getting pucks in the zone, we tried to complicate things, but this weekend we finally clicked and simplified our game and went to work,” he said.
The line of Gulash, Cameron and MacDonald mirrored the success of Boyagian, Naumovski and Jeffers from the week before, as they recorded a combined 14 points in two games against the Northeast Generals.
Doremus said he would like to see both lines continue their success as they prepare for their next game tonight against the Philadelphia Rebels.
“Gavin and his linemates collectively really helped our team this weekend, and I hope it’s just the beginning for them and the starting point for them to move forward,” Doremus said. “When you get contributions from up and down your lineup, it only makes you tougher to game-plan against and tougher for teams to defend against, and that’s what we want to create among our lineup.”