Despite grabbing the lead in the third period, three unanswered goals sunk the Titans at the 1st Summit Arena at the Cambria County War Memorials in Johnstown, PA, on Saturday night.
As in their previous game, New Jersey and Johnstown continued their parade into the penalty box. Nikita Meshcheryakov scored his third goal of the weekend and fourth of the season just 3:09 into the game, assisted by Dominik Bartecko and Dominick Rivelli. The Tomahawks would score on their first power play halfway through the period to tie the game, yet the infractions continued, and on New Jersey’s second power play, they converted. Dominick Rivelli scored his first since returning from injury, from Ryan Friedman and Reece Brednich, to give the Titans a 2-1 lead going into the first intermission.
In the second period, Friedman would find the back of the net himself moments after a Johnstown penalty expired, giving the Titans a 3-1 lead. Johnny McMahon and Logan Renkowski assisted on Friedman’s second of the season. However, New Jersey let the Tomahawks back into the game, first surrendering a power play goal 5:01 into the period, and an even strength goal with 4:03 to go to tie the game at three going into the second intermission.
Nikita Meshcheryakov tallied his fourth goal of the weekend, assisted by Jack Hillier and Matt Henry, halfway through the final frame, but it was the last time the Titans would find the back of the net. The Tomahawks tied the game with three and half minutes remaining in regulation time, and a sustained forecheck gave Johnstown the lead with 31 seconds left on the clock. An empty net goal in the dying seconds provided the exclamation mark, and for the third time in four weekends, the Titans failed to secure back to back wins. More worryingly, it is the third time this season they have given up the game winning goal in the final minute of play.
By squandering another point in the standings, New Jersey sits three points outside of play contention with almost a quarter of the season complete, falling to a 6-8-0 record. The win for Johnstown allows them to keep pace with New Hampshire, who now moves past New Jersey in the standings with 15 points.
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!