Titans Clinch Playoff Berth, Defeat Northeast 6-3

Mar 16, 2024

The New Jersey Titans clinched a playoff spot for the ninth consecutive season with an emphatic 6-3 victory over the Northeast Generals on Saturday night at the Middletown Sports Complex. 

The Generals would not make it easy in the final regular season matchup between the two teams, as they scored 3:24 into the game. Dominick Rivelli tied the game a few minutes later with his team leading 26th of the season, putting home a Reece Brednich pass in the Kentuckian’s 100th NAHL game. However, Northeast would take a lead into the first intermission on a back door goal with 1:38 remaining in the period to lead 2-1 after 20 minutes of play.

Jack Hillier drew the Titans level with his 15th of the year almost six minutes into the second period, assisted by Dominik Bartecko and Nikita Meshcheryakov.  Hillier, the Sacred Heart commit, has points in 15 of his last 16 games, recording 24 points in that span.  Then, 42 seconds later, Johnny McMahon deflected a Matt Henry shot from the point for his 9th of the season, giving New Jersey their first lead of the game.  Kristofers Krumins had the other assist, as McMahon snapped a 27 game goalless drought.  The Generals struck just over a minute later to tie the game again, but two minutes after that, Rivelli scored his second of the game and 27th of the season with a one timed blast on the power play to give New Jersey a lead they would not relinquish.  Hillier and Ryan Novo had the helpers on the eventual game winner, and the Titans took a 4-3 lead into the second intermission.  

Sensing that a victory was within reach, New Jersey kept the offense going, and Dominik Bartecko gave the Titans some breathing room when he wired a wrist shot high to the glove side for his 25th of the season.  Hillier and Ryan Friedman got the helpers, giving Friedman 3 points on the weekend.  In a repeat of last night, a late penalty against the Titans led to the Generals pulling their goalie for a 6 on 4 power play. Unlike last night, New Jersey was able to take advantage of the open net as Jack Hillier scored from his own zone for his second of the game,16th of the season, and 4th of the night, delivering a 6-3 victory for the Titans.  

With the win, New Jersey’s record improves to 30-21-3, good for 63 points.  Coupled with a Johnstown loss, the Titans are now 2 points shy of moving into a tie for 4th place and home ice advantage in the Play-In Round of the East Division Playoffs.  New Jersey is 8-2-0 in their last 10 games, propelling them into playoff position.  Now, the Titans have a week to recover before hosting the Philadelphia Rebels on Tuesday, March 26th, at 7:00pm.