Playoffs Preview vs Johnstown

Apr 11, 2024

The New Jersey Titans will open the 2024 Robertson Cup Playoffs with a Best of 3 series on the road against the Johnstown Tomahawks this weekend. New Jersey begins their quest for their second Robertson Cup by entering the postseason as the #5 seed, with a record of 35-22-3, earning 73 points in the season.  It is the 9th straight season that the Titans have qualified for the playoffs, stretching back to their debut in 2015-16.  

The teams met for four, two game series over the course of the season, with three of the four weekends resulting in both teams picking up a win.  The one exception was in Johnstown in the first weekend of 2024, with the Tomahawks winning 4-3 in overtime before sweeping the weekend with an emphatic 5-1.  The last meeting between the squads was two weekends ago, with Johnstown winning in Middletown on Friday, March 29th, before the Titans responded with a 6-2 win the next night.  Dominik Bartecko recorded 2 goals and 3 assists in New Jersey’s win, setting a career high with 5 points.  

Bartecko leads the Titans going into his final NAHL Robertson Cup Playoffs.  The catalyst of New Jersey’s offence, Bartecko set franchise records this season with 32 goals, 51 assists, and 83 points.  The Mercyhurst commit enters the postseason on a 8 game point streak, where he has recorded 19 points.  Dominick Rivelli, New Jersey’s captain, was the first Titan to eclipse the 30 goal mark, finishing the season with 31.  The future UMass-Lowell River Hawk has averaged a goal a game over his past 10 appearances.  From the blue line, Matej Teply enters the playoffs with 5 goals and 34 assists, pacing the New Jersey defense with 39 points.  Zak Brice has seized control of the Titans’ crease, winning 9 of his last 11 starts.  The Arizona State commit set franchise records between the pipes for the Titans, with 47 wins and 6 shutouts in his two seasons in Middletown.

The Johnstown Tomahawks enter the playoffs at the #4 seed in the division with a record of 36-21-3, besting the Titans by only 2 points to secure home ice in the first round.  They hold a 3-1-0 record over New Jersey on home ice this season.  Will Lawrence leads Johnstown with 22 goals, and is second to Zach Aben with 52 points.  Aben, the Tomahawks’ captain, leads the team with 33 assists and 53 points.  In goal, Jacob Osbourne finished the season tied for the league lead with 27 wins, but has not appeared for the Tomahawks in their past five games, with Johnstown going 3-2-0 in that span.  Zach Ferris has played every minute in Osbourne’s stead, and the 2005 birth year is anticipated to start for the Tomahawks after going 9-14-2 with 3 shutouts in his rookie season.  

The series begins tomorrow, Friday, April 12th, with a 7:30pm faceoff at the 1st Summit Arena at the Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.  Game 2 will be the next day, Saturday the 13th, for a 7:00pm start.  Game 3, if necessary, will be Sunday the 14th at 4:00pm.  All games will be streamed live on NAtv, and Titans fans are encouraged to select the “Away” feed to catch everything Titans as they pursue the 2024 Robertson Cup.