The New Jersey Titans will look to avenge a 4-0 loss to the Philadelphia Rebels last Saturday with two home games against them this weekend.
This will conclude a stretch of the two teams playing five consecutive games against each other, with the last three taking place at Middletown Sports Complex. For the Titans, it’s a continuation of a massive 10-game homestand that spans until the end of March.
Ryan Patrick led the Rebels last week with one goal and three assists en route to their 4-0 win on Saturday, while Eli Billing made 15 saves to pick up the shutout. With the win, Philadelphia has now defeated New Jersey in six of their last seven games.
“We had a chance to get back in the game, especially in the first period with a five-on-three but we didn’t capitalize. You can’t beat a quality team like the Rebels or a good goaltender in Eli Billing with only fifteen shots,” Titans head coach Craig Doremus said of the team’s effort.
Special teams was also a challenge for New Jersey, as they went 0-for-7 on the power play while the Rebels went 3-for-5 on the man advantage. Doremus called the team’s power play ‘paltry’ after the loss.
The highlight of Saturday’s game occurred at 13:28 of the third period when Titans defenseman Cam Kuhl dropped the gloves with Rebels forward Eric Olson. The scrap was initiated behind the play, and Kuhl buckled to his knees after taking a punch but sprang right back up to his feet. For the next forty seconds, both sides threw non-stop haymakers and were both cut by the end of the fight. Kuhl and Olson were assessed a five minute major and ten minute misconduct and were escorted to their respective locker rooms .
After the game, several players from the Titans and Rebels commented on the fight, saying it was one of the better tilts they have seen. Popular hockey media outlets such as TSN Bardown and Spittin’ Chiclets took notice by sharing highlights of the bout.
“You never want to see anyone get hurt, but fighting is still a part of the game today,” Doremus said of the fight. “But it was a heavyweight bout nonetheless with two tough kids throwing a lot of punches, and I’m happy for Cam sticking up for our teammates there.”
Doremus and four of his players also made their return to Middletown. Tyler Antonucci, Brandon Perrone, Ryan Wheeler and Ryan Naumovski all participated in the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament on February 27-28 in Plymouth, Mich. The East Division finished 1-1, including a 6-4 victory over the NAHL Selects White team. Naumovski, who played on the Selects team, picked up an assist in that game.
With all of the players back, the Titans will continue its home stretch of the regular season with 14 games remaining. Of those 14 contests, 12 of them will be played at Middletown Sports Complex. Tonight’s contest against the Rebels will start at 7 p.m., and will be streamed on hockeytv.com.