A quick start to the game would fizzle out for the New Jersey Titans as they fell 4-2 to the first place Maryland Black Bears on Friday night at the Piney Orchard Ice Arena in Odenton, Maryland.
Kristofers Krumins got the Titans on the board just 1:44 into the game for his 9th of the year, assisted by Arhip Sidarovich and Logan Renkowski. They doubled their lead shortly thereafter, when Dominik Bartecko rifled a shot short side on the power play for his 13th of the season to put the Titans up 2-0. Matej Teply provided the lone helper. However, that was all the offense New Jersey would be able to muster as the Black Bears tighten up defensively. A late goal in the period sent the Titans up 2-1 going into the first intermission, outshooting Maryland by a 13-11 margin in the period.
Maryland found the equalizer 3:29 into the second, and began to stifle the New Jersey offense, with the Black Bears doubling up the Titans in shots 18-9. Still the game remained tied through the second intermission and the first 14:52 of the third, when Maryland scored what proved to be the game winning goal. An empty net goal with 1:12 to go sealed the deal, and sent the Titans to their second straight loss against the top team in the division.
With the result, New Jersey’s record falls to 19-16-2, remaining in the 6th and final playoff spot in the crowded East Division. The team will not have long to reflect on the result, with their final game of the regular season at the Piney Orchard Ice Arena scheduled for tomorrow, January 27th, at 7:30pm. The game will be available to watch on NAHLtv.