Howell, NJ – The NJ Titans U16 National team faced a critical weekend this past weekend coming off of a loss to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Jr Knights as well as an Overtime loss to the North Jersey Avalanche. The team bounced back in a big way this past weekend in two critical District Games.
On Saturday, the squad came out against a physical and competitive New Jersey Colonials squad at Middletown Ice World. After a sluggish start due to a number of penalties, the Titans were able to sustain some offense in the latter half of the first period before asserting their authority in the 2nd period. The Titans received 2nd period goals from Matt Kidney and Ryan Walker to push ahead to a 2-0 lead. They continued their strong play throughout the 3rd period, before a Brad Becker goal sealed the game. Mike Cernero stood tall in net with 33 saves giving him his first shutout of the season.
On Sunday, the Titans battled their hated rivals, the New Jersey Devils with a chance to pick up some real momentum heading into the middle of October. After a fortunate goal by the Devils, the Titans raised their level of play. While they carried the play, they had nothing to show for it until a Devils giveaway put the Titans on the board and gave them all the momentum as Mike Gelatt cashed in on the Devils mistake. A short while later, Brad Becker got the Titans into the lead with a nice offensive play. Finally, Todd Goehring finished out the scoring in the 3rd period to give the Titans the insurance marker that was needed. Mike Cernero once again was strong in net making 27 saves in the win.
Coach George Haviland said, “We needed to bounce back this weekend. We lost Friday 4-3 in Overtime to the Long Island Gulls, but that was just a league game and we approach those games a bit differently than our district games. They are a skilled team and were a good challenge to get us prepared for the weekend, and we came out and played two strong games of hockey on Saturday and Sunday.”