Spencer Stanley scored the lone goal in the Titans’ 1-0 overtime win over the Maryland Black Bears on Saturday night, sweeping their opening weekend in Maryland.
After a six-goal output on Friday night, the Titans struggled to solve Black Bears’ goaltender Tyler Matthews, who made 24 saves on Saturday. Titans goaltender Matt Ladd one-upped him, however, with a 25-save shutout in his first start of the season.
Head coach Craig Doremus spoke about the one-goal game, saying that there could have been improvements offensively but also gave credit to Matthews.
“I think it was a combination of not executing some details offensively as well as their goaltender having a strong game. He stopped the pucks he saw and competed all night,” Doremus said.
With neither team scoring in regulation, the game went into three-one-three overtime. A tripping penalty by Jake Rudin turned it into a four-on-three just 59 seconds into the extra session, putting the Titans on the power play.
Midway through the man advantage, two Michigan natives worked their magic as Ryan Naumovski set up Stanley for a one-timer at the top of the point, going over the blocker of Matthews for the game-winner.
After the game, Doremus also spoke about Stanley’s growth with the team and his expanding role as he enters his third season in New Jersey.
“Spencer Stanley is a special defenseman. He is so under appreciated by the hockey world, and I am so happy to see him get the big-time game-winning goal in OT,” he said. “He prepares like a pro and is a leader on our back end. Spencer is going to make a college coach very happy over the next four to five years.”
The Titans will take a 2-0-0 record with them as they head to Blaine, Minnesota for the North American Hockey League Showcase. Their first game is Wednesday Sept. 19 as they face the Corpus Christi IceRays, a team now coached by former director of scouting for the Titans, Ryan Cruthers. Puck drop is scheduled at 5:30 EST and will be streamed on hockeytv.com.