Eric Johansson scored his third goal in his second game with the Titans, as they defeated the Northeast Generals 5-2 at the Middletown Sports Complex on Friday night.
The Titans, who have not played a full game since Oct. 1, have won their second straight game and improved their record to 5-3-1. Their previous win was also against the Generals, as Eric Johansson had two goals and an assist in the 10-3 victory. He now has three goals and four points in two games with the Titans.
“He brings a large presence to our lineup. Seeing him produce and be rewarded for his hard work here is not only good for the team, but I’m happy to see him succeed after he faced some adversity with an injury that kept him out of the lineup,” said Titans head coach Craig Doremus.
The Malmoe, Sweden native said it felt good to hit the ice again upon returning to the Titans’ lineup.
“It’s good to play now. I play with a lot of good teammates that help out me a lot, so it’s not hard to score the goals,” Johansson said.
Matt Wiesner, a former Titan, scored both goals for the Generals. His first goal banked off his skate on a breakout pass from Tate MacDonald, as the puck trickled passed goaltender Brandon Perrone, giving the Generals a 1-0 lead in the 1st period.
“It was a little mishap there. I tried to go cross-ice on the pass, but it was one of those fluke goals that went in,” MacDonald said.
Undeterred by the goal, New Jersey responded by scoring three in the 2nd period. Ryan Wheeler picked up his first of the season as a centering pass deflected off a skate and went by Generals goaltender David Fessenden. A minute and 27 seconds later, Johansson gave the Titans a 2-1 lead by jamming home a rebound in front of the net.
Buster Larsson, a Swedish forward making his debut in New Jersey, got the assist on the go-ahead goal.
“Buster is a skilled kid for a big guy. He has good hands, good feet and obviously he’s still learning what we want to do structurally, and that part of his game is coming along nicely,” Doremus said about Larsson.
Chris Garbe, also making his season debut with the Titans, scored the third goal on a redirection in the low slot off a shot from Andrew Husted.
Five minutes into the 3rd period, Wiesner scored his second of the game on a one-timer off the faceoff, beating Perrone stick side. The Titans responded shortly after with a power-play goal from Nick Boyagian, as he notched his first tally of the season. MacDonald sealed the win with an empty netter with just three seconds remaining in the game.
Perrone made 39 saves on 41 shots to pick up his third win of the season while Fessenden made 44 saves on 48 shots in the losing effort.
The Titans head back into action with another home game against the Generals tonight with a 7:30 puck drop. All of the action will be streamed on hockeytv.com.