Brandon Perrone was stellar in his return to the lineup with 29 saves, propelling the New Jersey Titans to a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Rebels at the Class of 1923 Arena.
The win gives the Titans a 13-10-2 record and snaps the Rebels’ three-game winning streak. Head coach Craig Doremus praised the team’s effort after a tough weekend in Johnstown.
“It was a nice bounce back effort from our team collectively. Wins in this division are hard to come by, never mind when they are on the road,” he said. “I thought our team really responded well with their backs against the wall, and a great effort in net by Brandon (Perrone) in his return after a stint on the injured reserve.”
Despite missing their leading scorer in Nick Boyagian, the Titans jumped to a 4-0 lead before the midway point of the game with goals from Hunter Alden, Kyle Jeffers, Matthew Cameron and Tate Singleton. The Rebels scored three unanswered goals, but Tate MacDonald scored in the third period to replenish New Jersey’s two-goal lead.
The game started with chances on both sides, while Perrone made a couple of key saves to keep it scoreless, including a pad stop on a penalty shot from Alex Frye. Moments later, Rebels forward Brandon Stanley set up linemate Jimmy Glynn for a one-timer at the side of the goal, but Perrone stretched out with the right pad to make the save with the puck nearly on the goal line.
Later in the period, the Titans came across a five-on-three opportunity and did not let it go to waste. Hunter Alden picked up a lose puck on the goal line and snapped a quick shot into the top corner to give the Titans a 1-0 lead. One minute and 42 seconds later, Kyle Jeffers doubled the lead as he slammed a loose puck in the low slot past Rebels goaltender Eli Billing.
The Titans kept the momentum going in the second period as Cameron received a cross-ice feed and chopped the puck in for his sixth goal of the season, and his second in as many games. After the goal, Rebels head coach Joe Coombs decided to pull Billing and let Ryan Keane finish the game.
New Jersey picked up its second power play goal at 6:50 of the period as Tate Singleton notched his seventh tally of the season. He tried to make a pass to Todd Goehring from the right side, but it glanced off a defender’s skate and went into the net, giving the Titans a 4-0 lead.
The Rebels bounced back, however, with two power-play goals in a span of 1:22. Diarmad Dimurro put Philadelphia on the board at 15:03 of the second period with a wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle that beat Perrone glove side. Going right back on the power play, the Rebels converted again on a goal from Brandon Stanley. Glynn slid the puck right in front of the net where Stanley was able to deflect it in and cut the Titans’ lead in half.
Early in the third period, Ryan Wheeler appeared to score on the power play as he batted a puck out of mid-air and into the net. The play was ultimately whistled down due to a high-stick, thus keeping it a 4-2 game.
Adam Peck scored the Rebels’ third unanswered goal at 11:32 of the third period as he broke into the Titans’ zone on a two-on-two, went around the net and banked it off the pad of Perrone.
Tate MacDonald responded for the Titans 1:20 later, as he found a favorable bounce go off the end boards and stuffed the puck in past Keane, earning his third goal of the season. The score remained 5-3 for the rest of the game, as Perrone made a couple of saves at point-blank range in the final minute of play.
The Titans’ win snaps a two-game losing streak, and the team will spring back into action with another road game this Wednesday against the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Knights.