Less than 24 hours after falling to the Philadelphia Rebels in the front half of a home and home series, the New Jersey Titans were able to avenge last night’s overtime loss with a 5-3 victory Saturday night at the Middletown Sports Complex.
Dominik Bartecko got the Titans on the board 3:53 into the game, with Jake Geraci and Nikita Meshcheryakov assisting on Bartecko’s 7th of the year. Philadelphia would answer less than two minutes later to draw even, but Bartecko would restore the lead with his second of the game at 16:31, going high to the blocker side. Ethan Wongus and Christian Wood picked up the helpers on Bartecko’s 8th, but New Jersey would not take a lead into intermission, conceding a power play goal with under a minute to go in the period to go into the break tied at 2.
The Titans’ offense stayed strong in the second period, recording the first five shots of the frame. However, it was a shorthanded goal by Logan Renkowski that would give New Jersey the lead once more at 7:58, converting on a 2 on 1 with Bartecko. Leo Schwartz picked up the other assist on Renkowski’s 3rd of the year. Philadelphia would tie the game again with under 5 minutes to go in the period, but Johnny McMahon went upstairs on a backhander off a net mouth scramble with 16.2 seconds remaining in the period to give New Jersey the lead heading into the second intermission. Reece Brednich and Jack Hillier assisted on McMahon’s 8th of the season.
The third period would see good opportunities for both teams, but neither could find the back of the net until Ryan Friedman potted an empty net goal with 1:47 to go, icing the game for New Jersey with his 4th of the season. Zak Brice stopped 28 of 31 shots, and the Titans finished the home and home series versus Philadelphia by taking 3 of 4 possible points.
With the victory, the Titans slide up the standings and back into a playoff spot in the competitive East Division. New Jersey will now spend the next two weekends on the road, beginning with a two game series in Lewiston, Maine, against the second place Maine Nordiques. Games are scheduled for Friday, December 1st, at 7:30pm and Saturday, December 2nd, at 7:00pm. Both games will be available to stream on NAHLtv.