The New Jersey Titans scored three power play goals en route to a 6 – 2 victory over the visiting Johnstown Tomahawks last night at the Middletown Sports Complex. In all, the Titans went three for four with the man advantage.
Assistant captain Chris Garbe, who had made an NCAA commitment to Middlebury College earlier in the day, had three points (2 goals and 1 assist).
In the blink of an eye, the Titans took a 1 – 0 lead just fourteen seconds into the game on Kyle Jeffers fifteenth goal of the season. After Jeffers won the opening draw, the puck went back to Brody Medeiros at the top of his own far side faceoff circle. The Titans captain passed it over to Tyler Nasca on his left. Nasca sent the puck up to Gavin Gulash at center ice and he redirected the biscuit through his legs and onto the stick of a breaking Jeffers. The American International College commit skated up along the near side boards and into the offensive zone. As Jeffers reached the high slot, he started skating towards his right and took a wrister that beat Johnstown’s goaltender David Tomeo blocker side to open the scoring.
The Tomahawks tied it at 4:13 into the second period. After Johnstown’s Max Kouznetsov was called for tripping Garbe, the penalty negated the man advantage for the visitors to make it four on four hockey. After the draw was won deep inside the Johnstown zone, the puck went Spencer DenBeste who skated up along the far side boards and into the offensive zone. As DenBeste was driving to the net, he cut across the goal mouth and lifted the puck past a sprawling Patrick Pugliese to make it 1 – 1 game.
As time was running out on the Kourznetsov’s penalty, the Titans scored their first power play goal of the evening. Jeffers picked up the loose puck along the offensive zone’s far side boards. As Jeffers went to pass the puck out front to Gulash it was tipped back to Josef Glamos at the top of the near side faceoff circle. Glamos sent the puck down low to Jeffers, who was to the left of Tomeo. Jeffers passed it out to Garbe who was in the slot and the assistant captain took a shot that hit the post and it bounced into the net and past Tomeo to give the Titans a 2 – 1 lead.
With 9: 46 remaining in the second, the Titans would double their lead on Glamos’ seventh goal of the season. After Tomeo made a right pad save, the rebound came out to Glamos who skated behind the Tomahawks net and sent the puck back to Cade Penney at the point. As Penney started to walk the line, he passed it back to Garbe at the top of the near side circle. Garbe took a shot that was redirected out front by Glamos and past Tomeo to make it a 3 – 1 game.
With 3:14 left in the second, the Tomahawks were called for too many men on the ice to give the Titans the man advantage. A minute later Matthew Iasenza lit the lamp for his sixth goal of the season. After Michael Outzen took a shot that went wide of the net, the puck rolled up the far side boards where it was picked up by Mac Wiseman at the point. Wiseman passed it down to Matt Cameron who immediately passed the puck to Outzen in the far side corner. Outzen drove to the net and took a shot that was saved by Tomeo but Iasenza tucked in the rebound to give the Titans a 4 – 1 lead.
Garbe would score his second goal of the game just 3:16 into the third period. Penney picked up the loose puck along the far side boards and pass it down to Mitch Machlitt who skated behind the Tomahawks net and sent a backhand pass out to Garbe at the top of the slot. Garbe took a howitzer of a shot that beat Tomeo top shelf to give the Titans a 5 – 1 lead.
A minute later Johnstown’s Matthew Doyle was called for holding to give the Titans the man advantage. Just eighteen seconds after Doyle started serving his penalty, Machlitt scored his eighteenth goal of the season and the Titans third power play goal of the evening.
After being hit hard behind the Tomahawks net, Cameron would set up the play in the far side corner. He passed it back to Machlitt at the top of the circle who immediately sent a return pass to Cameron. The Niagara University commit sent a cross-ice pass to Outzen who took a low line shot that was redirected by Machlitt and past Tomeo to make it a 6 – 1 game.
Johnstown’s Carson Grainer scored at the 5:40 mark of the third period to close out the scoring and make it a 6 – 2 game.
Pugliese stopped 30 of 32 shots while Tomeo turned aside 25 of 31. Click here for the box score.
The two teams will meet again tonight at 7:00 PM. It will be the Titans annual Teddy Bear Toss. All fans who bring a teddy will receive a $3 discount off an adult ticket price. After the Titans score their first goal of the game, the teddies will be thrown onto the ice, collected and donated to the Ronald McDonald House of Central and Northern New Jersey.