Nikita Meshcheryakov scored twice for the third time in his past five games, but that and 39 shots on goal would not be enough as the New Jersey Titans fell to the Johnstown Tomahawks in front of their largest crowd of the season so far by a score of 5 to 3 on Friday night at the Middletown Sports Complex.
The Tomahawks would get on the board first with a power play goal 3:55 into the game after the Titans were called for having too many men on the ice. New Jersey tied it up with a power play goal of their own halfway through the period, with Logan Renkowski hammering home a one timer low to the blocker side. Leo Schwartz and Brian Robertson picked up the helpers on the Harvard commit’s 2nd of the season. Despite outshooting Johnstown by a 15 to 7 margin, New Jersey could not find the back of the net again, and the teams went into the first intermission tied at one.
The second period had ice tilted the same way at the first, but this time it was to the Tomahawks’ benefit. However, it would be the Titans who took a 2-1 lead at the 9:36 mark, when Nikita Meshcheryakov banged home his own rebound for the Titans’ second power play goal of the game. Reece Brednich and Matej Teply got the assists on Meshcheryakov’s 7th of the season. The lead would not be seen into the second intermission, as a Johnstown power play goal tied things up at 16:52 to draw the teams even once more. The Tomahawks outshot the Titans 15 to 8, setting the stage for a decisive third period of play.
It would be Johnstown who struck first when they took the lead under 4 minutes into the frame, and they doubled their lead at 10:17. An empty net goal made it 5-2 at 18:20, but New Jersey’s Meshcheryakov would be gifted his second of the game with just over a minute to play, being the last New Jersey player to touch the puck on a breakout pass that deflected past Johnstown’s Jacob Osbourne. There were no more presents to be had for the Titans, and they fell by a score of 5-3.
With the loss, coupled with Rochester’s win over Northeast, the Titans tumble down to 7th in the division with a record of 8-9-0. The teams will skate again tomorrow night, with a scheduled 7:00pm faceoff. Once again the Titans will wear their specialty breast cancer awareness uniforms, which will be auctioned off after the game, and all proceeds with go to benefit Breast Intentions, a local crisis intervention charity. Visit their website at breastintentions.org for more information on a valued partner of the Titans.