Juniors Thanksgiving Showcase Recap
NJ Titans-2, Philadelphia Junior Flyers-0
(Cromwell, CT)-After a relatively short three hour bus ride to Cromwell, Connecticut, the Titans took to the ice in the opening matchup of the Thanksgiving Showcase hosted by the Hartford Jr. Wolfpack against an undermanned yet game Philadelphia Junior Flyers squad. Coming off of a tough battle on Sunday evening against the rival NJ Renegades and a tough week of practice, the Titans came out and were a bit slow to start, but eventually around midway through the first half, the squad seemed to find their legs on the strength of a Chris Deatrick goal from Danny Reno and Junior rookie Jimmy Burns’ first Junior point. Heading into the second half, the Titans held a tenuous one goal lead. Fortunately for the Titans in the second half, Cam Bregenzer came to the aid of the squad with an important second half goal on a nice passing play with assists going to Jay Malone and Dave Ramos. Vincent Padula got the call in net, and was up to the task making all 19 stops in the victory to record the shutout while the Titans fired 35 pucks on the Flyer net.
NJ Titans-5, Portland Junior Pirates-3
(Cromwell, CT)-After a nice early morning rise to get the juices flowing, the Titans stepped foot at Champions Arena facing their toughest task of the weekend, a matchup against a streaking Portland squad. Apparently, someone forgot to tell the boys in white that the game started at 11:20, as the Pirates jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead stunning the Titan faithful. After falling behind, the Titans showed their resilience, as they fought their way back into the game in fact tying the game up before the break on goals from Jay Malone unassisted and Casey Litwack from Dave Ramos, before tempers flared and put the Titans on the PK, where Portland struck late for a 3-2 lead going into half two. Finally, a bit before the midway point, the Titans seized the momentum with a Dave Ramos marker from Jimmy Burns equalizing the game. At the 13:29 mark of the second half though, the Titans made the Pirates walk the plank as Casey Litwack struck for a Power Play marker, putting the Titans up for good. Just for good measure, Litwack added another with an empty net goal to seal the win. Chris Marsillo settled in after the two quick goals to stop 17 Pirate shots, while the Titans turned the Portland net into a shooting gallery firing 54 shots on the Pirate net.
NJ Titans-5, Hartford Junior Wolfpack-2
(Cromwell, CT)-One of the Titan keys after the first two games of this showcase was to come out and start quick and be ready to go right away. Needless to say, the message was delivered this game, as it took the Titans all of 15 seconds to get on the scoreboard against the hosts. Hartford rebounded to knot the game up, however, the Titans came right back with a Pat Dwyer marker to take the lead into the locker room at halftime. Coming out of the break, the Titans struck early on a Dave Ramos marker from Jay Malone to give the Titans some breathing room coming down the stretch. Hartford was able to come back and get another one back, until the Titans answered the bell yet again with Jimmy Burns putting one in from Dave Ramos to go back up two goals before the boys in red finished it off with a Mike Kosinski goal from Matt Dornacker and Anthony Rosetta. Grant Mitchell had a superb game in net stopping 29 Wolfpack shots while the Titans were able to fire 25 pucks on the Wolfpack cage.
NJ Titans-5, Wilkes-Barre Knights-1
(Cromwell, CT)-Coming off of a difficult first two days of this showcase which are sure to drain some teams, as well as a thrilling piano play-off between Titan defenseman Matt Armenti and MJHL League President Glen Hefferan, one would certainly understand if the Titans came out trying to avoid a letdown in the 4th game of a long weekend against the expansion Wilkes-Barre Knights. Certainly, though, this group was not about to let that happen as the Titans came out and took care of business against a hard working and improving Wilkes-Barre team. The Titans jumped on the Knights fairly early, after putting a lot of pucks on net early to no avail, finally, Dalton Bew was able to get the Titans on the board on assists from Matt Armenti and Danny Reno to put the Titans up early. Bew came right back about 5 minutes later with his second of the game from Danny Reno before the Knights got back in the game due to a Titan mistake. Coming out of the locker room up by only one goal seemed to energize the Titans, as Bew’s line which had been buzzing all weekend, got another one on a Chris Deatrick redirection of a Pat Kearns shot to go up 3-1. After a nice passing play got Jason Zimmel a goal on assists from Anthony Rosetta and Sean Branagan put the Titans up 4-1, Bew finished off his hat trick with Reno and Armenti once again assisting to close out the scoring. The Titans kept the Knight goaltender busy with 46 shots, while Vincent Padula stopped seven of the eight pucks sent his way.