A pair of power play goals by Dominick Rivelli, a three point night from Dominick Bartecko, and a stronger defensive effort powered the Titans to a 5-1 victory over the New Hampshire Mountain Kings on Friday night at the Tri-Town Ice Arena in Hooksett, New Hampshire. The win snapped a season high four game losing streak and now gives New Jersey a 5 point cushion over the Mountain Kings for the 6th and final playoff spot in the East Division.
For the fourth consecutive game, New Jersey struck with the first goal of the game when Dominik Bartecko snapped a shot from the high slot for his 15th of the season with under four minutes to play in the opening frame. Simon Becar and Jake Geraci picked up the assists, and the Titans went into the first intermission up 1-0.
Jack Hillier made it 2-0 just 2:10 into the second period to double New Jersey’s lead when he broke into the Mountain King zone and stepped towards the slot before firing the puck upstairs. Becar and Ryan Novo had the helpers on the Sacred Heart commit’s 8th of the year, giving him goals in back to back games, and 3 in his past 5. Rivelli made it 3-0 on the power play at 9:43, finding open ice in the high slot and wiring home his 15th of the year, assisted by Leo Schwartz and Bartecko. The scoring continued under three minutes later as Ethan Wongus forced a turnover in the New Hampshire zone, allowing Kai Elkie to pot his 4th of the year. The Mountain Kings would get one back with under 5 minutes to play to spoil Zak Brice’s shutout bid, but the Titans went into the second intermission up 4-1.
Rivelli added another power play goal for his team leading 16th of the season on a shot from the top of the circle to restore the 4 goal lead. The newest member of the team, Lucas Marshall, recorded his first point as a Titan, with Bartecko receiving the other assist. The defense took care of the rest in what may have been the unit’s finest game of the season, limiting the Mountain Kings to 8 shots on goal in the first, 7 in the second, and only 6 in the third. Zak Brice stopped all but one as the Titans were finally able to get back into the winning column.
With the victory, the Titans see their record move to 20-18-2, good for 42 points. They’ll look for the season sweep against the Mountain Kings when the teams face off for the final time during the regular season tomorrow night at 7:30pm.