A pair of goals from Nikita Meshcheryakov paced the New Jersey Titans back into the win column after a 4-2 win over the Johnstown Tomahawks on Friday night at the 1st Summit Arena at the Cambria County War Memorial. It was the first multi-goal performance for the Muscovite in the North American Hockey League.
A tightly played first period found the game deadlocked at zero, highlighted by the solid goaltending of Dylan Krick and Johnstown’s Zack Ferris. The Titans outshot Johnstown by an 11 to 6 margin, but the goalies were perfect through the first twenty minutes of play. As the teams came out for the second period, the Titans found themselves with multiple opportunities on the power play, and they would not let the chances pass them by. Reece Brednich jammed in a rebound off a Dominick Rivelli one timer to take a 1-0 lead at 10:40, with Matej Teply picking up the secondary assist on Brednich’s 5th of the season. Less than five minutes later, Nikita Mescheryakov was found on the doorstep by Dominik Bartecko to make it 2-0 at 14:17. Rivelli received the other assist on Meshcheryakov’s second of the season. The Tomahawks, however, responded quickly, scoring 40 seconds later at even-strength to cut the lead to one. Johnstown than evened the score late in the period off a turnover, that led to an extended shift for New Jersey. The exciting back and forth period led to a 2-2 tie heading into the 3rd period of play.
The final stanza featured both teams marching to the penalty box, presenting multiple power play opportunities. However, this forced both teams to tighten up defensively as well, and offensive chances were harder to find compared to earlier in the game. But, with 6:30 remaining in regulation time, Nikita Mescheryakov potted his second of the game and third of the season, by going high to the glove side after Johnstown’s goaltended robbed the Russian moments prior. Up by a single goal, the Titans continued their parade into the penalty box, giving Johnstown two power play chances in the final four minutes of the game. The defense stiffened, and Dylan Krick stood tall, until Ethan Wongus tallied a shorthanded goal at 17:13 to put the Titans up by two, and the game itself out of reach. For Wongus, it was his team leading 7th goal of the season. Krick recorded 27 saves for his third win of the season.
With the victory, the Titans keep pace with the rest of the East Division and remain a point out of playoff contention. New Jersey has the chance to jump over Johnstown and back into the playoff picture when the teams meet again tomorrow, Saturday, October 14th, at 7:00pm.
The New Jersey Titans, proud members of the North American Hockey League, are entering their ninth season at the Middletown Sports Complex in Middletown, NJ. The 2022 Robertson Cup National Champions, the Titans have made the playoffs in every season since their founding in 2015. Single game tickets are now on sale for the 2023-24 season home opener versus Rochester on September 29th. Season tickets are on sale here, and provide a discounted admission to attend every game at the Middletown Sports Complex. Follow the New Jersey Titans on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok today!