Zak Brice’s 35 saves would not be enough as the New Jersey Titans fell to the Maryland Black Bears by a score of 3-2 on Friday night at the Middletown Sports Complex in Middletown, NJ.
The Titans were in high spirits coming into Friday night’s game against the Black Bears after naming their leadership group earlier in the day. For the first time, Dominick Rivelli, Reece Brednich, and Ryan Novo skated as captains, and the momentum carried into the opening shift. Off the first faceoff of the game, Arhip Sidarovich found Ethan Wongus with a clean lane to the net, and the Edmonton, AB, native made no mistake, wiring a wrist shot low to the blocker side for his team leading 7th goal of the season, giving New Jersey a 1-0 lead just 28 seconds into the game.
Maryland responded halfway through the period, with a pair of goals scored 41 seconds apart to give the Black Bears their first lead of the game. Not to be outdone, Kristofers Krumins knotted things up at 13:45 with a long range shot that found a hole to tie things at two. Ryan Novo and Brian Robertson picked up the helpers on Krumins 5th of the year.
Each team enjoyed their first power plays of the game in the second period, but it was Maryland who would have the last laugh. On the power play halfway through the period, the Titans were the victim of a bad bounce behind the net as Zak Brice had trouble controlling the puck, and Maryland’s shorthanded goal would prove to be the game winner. New Jersey would mount a late effort for the equalizer, but could not draw level before time expired.
With the loss, New Jersey moves below .500 for the first time this season, with a record of 5-6-0. The Black Bears improve to 8-2-1. With 17 points, they are atop the NAHL standings. Now the Titans must reset, and prepare for the second game of the weekend. Faceoff is scheduled for 7:00PM on Saturday night.
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!