It was a different opponent, but the same frustrating result as the Titans again surrendered the game decided goal in the final minute of the third period, falling to the defending Robertson Cup Champions Oklahoma Warriors by a score of 4 to 3 in New Jersey’s final game of the NAHL Showcase.
New Jersey fell behind early off a bad angle shot that found a sliver of daylight over the shoulder and under the crossbar of Titans goaltender Dylan Krick. However, New Jersey was undeterred, and responded well. First, Jack Hillier forced a turnover deep in the Oklahoma zone to set up Kristofers Krumins for his third goal of the season at the 9:44 mark of the period. The Titans then took the lead on a power play goal from Ethan Wongus.
With Dominick Rivelli and Ryan Friedman unavailable for the game, some new faces appeared on the Titans’ power play. Christian Wood fed the puck to Johnny McMahon, who’s shot was deflected by Wongus. Wongus then banged home his own rebound to give New Jersey the 2-1 lead. They would extend the lead with 1:06 to go in the period, as Cooper Eberhardt put home a rebound himself for his first goal in the North American Hockey League. McMahon recorded his second assist on the play, and the Titans went into the first intermission up by two, despite being outshot 9-8.
A scoreless second period saw the Titans outshoot the Warriors, but neither team was able to find the back of the net, setting the stage for New Jersey to maintain their lead and finish the NAHL Showcase on a high note. However, the Oklahoma Warriors had the best record in the league when trailing after two periods last season, and they returned 15 players from the Robertson Cup Championship team. A shot deflected from the point and a second rebound allowed Oklahoma to tie the game. Then, for the second game in a row, the Titans conceded a goal in the final minute of play after an ill-advised turnover deep in the zone.
With the loss, the Titans fall to 3-3-0 and into a tie with Johnstown and Philadelphia in the East Division. The Titans will look to regroup with a pair of games in Attleboro, MA, when the face the Northeast Generals for the first time this season. Games are set for Friday, September 22nd and Saturday, September 23rd.
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. Season ticket packages will be available soon, in time for the 2023-24 season home opener versus Rochester on September 29th. Follow the New Jersey Titans on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok today!