The New Jersey Titans landed in Minnesota today as they prepare for the NAHL Showcase, to be held over the next four days at the National Sports Center Super Rink in Blaine, MN. Fresh off a pair of wins against division rival Danbury over the weekend, redemption will be on the minds of the Titans’ veterans, as the team went 0-4 at last season’s showcase, and are 1-7 over the past two seasons. The schedule will not do them any favors, as New Jersey will face the every division champion outside of the East. The previous results have not sat well with Head Coach and General Manager Craig Doremus. “We have approached our camp a bit differently this year in terms of what we are trying to accomplish on the ice in the short term. We have definitely simplified tactically and focused on habits more than structured play. We know it won’t be played flawlessly early in the season, so we want to make sure we are playing fast, hard, and with conviction.”
The Titans begin the 2023 NAHL Showcase on Wednesday at 9:00pm Eastern against the Minnesota Wilderness. Last season, the Wilderness finished in 2nd place of the Midwest Division with a record of 35-18-7. In the playoffs, Minnesota swept Kenai River three games to none in the first round, and knocked off Midwest Division Champion Wisconsin in the second round three games to one, before being swept themselves by Oklahoma in the Robertson Cup Semifinals. It will be the second game of the season for Minnesota, after dropping a 5-1 decision to Anchorage last Saturday. It will be the first matchup between the two teams since September 21st, 2018, a game the Titans won 4-2. Their only other matchup was exactly two years prior, a 2-1 victory for the Wilderness.
New Jersey faces another Midwest Division on Thursday, September 14th, at 3:45pm Eastern versus the Wisconsin Windigo. The Windigo won the Midwest Division with a record of 39-18-3, and swept the Chippewa Steel in the first round before being shown the door by Minnesota in the second. Wisconsin opens their season the day prior with a matchup against the Northeast Generals. The Titans and Windigo have never met in the regular season before, though the last game between the franchises came on September 24th, 2015, when the Windigo were known as the Minnesota Magicians. The Titans prevailed with a 4-2 victory.
On September 15th, the Titans skate at 1:00pm Eastern and will meet the defending Central Division Champions Austin Bruins for the second time in franchise history. Austin took the first meeting against New Jersey on September 17th, 2021, by a score of 4-1. Last season, the Bruins finished in 1st place in the Central with a record of 34-16-10. In the playoffs, Austin swept Minot in the first round before beating St. Cloud three games to one in the division finals. The Bruins then vanquished the East Division Champion Maryland two games to one in the Robertson Cup Semifinals before falling in the Robertson Cup Championship game to the Oklahoma Warriors by a score of 4-3. Austin also begins their season at the Showcase with games against Philadelphia and Oklahoma before meeting New Jersey.
New Jersey will wrap up the NAHL Showcase the next day, September 16th, at 1:00pm Eastern, and face off against the defending Robertson Cup Champion Oklahoma Warriors. This featured matchup pits the last two NAHL Champions against each other and represents the first game between the two teams since the Warriors relocated from Wichita Falls, TX. Last year, Oklahoma finished with the best record in the league at 44-14-2. They also had the league’s best goal differential with +114. In the playoffs, the Warriors were dominant, sweeping Amarillo and knocking off Shreveport three games to one to claim the South Division crown. Then, Oklahoma swept Minnesota two games to none, and beat Austin to secure their first Robertson Cup. In the only previous matchup between the franchises, New Jersey fell to Wichita Falls 5-2 on September 18th, 2021. Oklahoma will face Kenai River, Austin, and Rochester prior to the Titans.
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 Titans have made the playoffs in every season of their existence and were the 2022 Robertson Cup National Champions. Season ticket packages will be available soon, in time for the 2023-24 season home opener versus the Rochester Jr. Americans on September 29th. Follow the New Jersey Titans on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok today!