The New Jersey Titans lost to the Maryland Black Bears on Sunday afternoon by a score of 4-2 at Middletown Sports Complex.
Spencer Stanley and Gavin Gulash scored power-play goals in a Titans’ comeback effort that fell short. Connor Pooley and Bradley Jenion recorded a goal and an assist each while David Tomeo made 38 saves, as the Black Bears snapped a six-game losing streak with the victory.
“We’re definitely better than we were in the last two secondary games of back-to-backs, but a couple of bad bounces will leave you on the short end of the stick,” said Titans head coach Craig Doremus.
Bradley Jenion opened the scoring for the Black Bears at 9:27 of the first period. He took a shot from the left circle that deflected off the glove and mask of Brandon Perrone before going into the net. Maryland double the lead with a power play goal in the final minute, as a dump-in took an unusual bounce off the boards, hopped over the stick of Perrone and right to Marek Wazny, who tapped the puck into the open net.
Despite leading in the shot department 16-10, the Titans found themselves in a 2-0 hole. Doremus spoke about the first period trying to regain momentum in the game.
“You’re chasing all game and trying to climb an uphill mountain. It takes a lot of energy and you need to be perfect at that point, because you can’t give up anything else or you’ll find yourself in that much more of a hole,” he said.
Spencer Stanley cut the deficit in half at 5:32 of the second period with a power-play goal. He fired a slap shot from the top of the point that found its way through traffic and past Black Bears’ goaltender David Tomeo. Luke Mountain restored the two-goal lead at 12:25 when he found a rebound and slid the puck around a sprawling Perrone, earning his fifth goal of the season.
With 1:31 remaining in the period, Bryce Witman threw a hit on Jenion that shattered a panel of glass. The officials decided to start the intermission, play the remaining 1:31 after the ice cut and start the third period immediately after. After the ice cut, Gavin Gulash picked up a power-play goal to reduce the deficit to one.
The Titans spent most of the third period in the Black Bears’ zone looking for the tying goal. Eric Manoukian was denied on a breakaway, and Mac Wiseman nearly scored on a rush up the ice with the extra attacker. The Titans’ efforts came up short as Connor Pooley scored on the empty net with 1:27 left in the game. Out of six games between the two teams, Maryland picked up its first-ever victory over the Titans, while snapping a six-game losing streak.
This weekend, the Titans will face the best team in the league in the Johnstown Tomahawks at 1st Summit Arena at Cambria County War Memorial. Despite snapping its 17-game winning streak, the Tomahawks still have an impressive 25-5-0 record and have a 4-0-0 mark against the Titans this season.
Puck drop on Friday night is slated for 7:30 p.m. while Saturday’s game starts at 7:00 p.m. Both games will be available for streaming on hockeytv.com.
Photo Credit: Pete MacDonald (@PMacDonald51)