Titans Fall Late in Game 1 vs Maryland

Apr 19, 2024

The New Jersey Titans fell to the Maryland Black Bears by a score of 5-3 in Game 1 of the East Division Semifinals on Friday night at the Piney Orchard Ice Arena in Odenton, Maryland. 

In the first postseason meeting between the previous two East Division champions, it was Ryan Novo who got the Titans on the board first on the power play 9:35 into the game. Jack Hillier and Ryan Friedman had the assists on Novo’s third goal in as many playoff games. The lead would not last, as the Black Bears scored two goals only 10 seconds apart to take the lead. Moreover, after the Novo goal, they held New Jersey without a shot on goal for the next 8 minutes. On another power play, Dominick Rivelli scored on a wrist shot to tie the game with 3:33 to go in the period to send the Titans into the intermission tied at 2. New Jersey was outshot 16-8 in the frame. 

Despite the withering pressure applied by the Black Bears, the Titans’ defense held in the second. Logan Renkowski potted his 2nd of the playoffs off a one timer halfway through to regain the lead. Lucas Marshall and Dominik Bartecko provided the helpers on New Jersey’s third power play goal of the game. The Titans would take a 3-2 into the third period, but we’re heavily outshot again, this time 16-6. 

Buoyed by a capacity crowd, the Black Bears were more deliberate in their offense, yet even more persistent. Dylan Krick continued to stand on his head and keep the lead for his team, until the Black Bears finally broke through and tied the game with 4:30 remaining in regulation. The New Jersey penalty kill, which has already killed off five separate Maryland power plays, finally faltered with only 1:20 to go to give the Black Bears the lead. A late power play would not save the Titans, and an empty net goal with 5.6 seconds left sealed the deal and sent the Titans to their first loss of the postseason. 

With the loss, New Jersey sees their 6 game winning streak, stretching back to the regular season snapped. Now down 1-0 in the Best of 5 series, the Titans will look to quickly recover and send the series back to Middletown tied at 1. Game 2 is scheduled for 6:30pm at the Piney Orchard Ice Arena, and Titans fans are encouraged to select the “Away” feed to watch the New Jersey broadcast. Game 3 will be Friday, April 26th, at 7:30pm at the Middletown Sports Complex. Tickets are available by following this link.