Ryan Naumovski and Matthew Cameron scored two goals each as the Titans cruised to a 7-2 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights Thursday afternoon at the Revolution Ice Center.
The win proved to a be a nice bounce back after getting swept by the Philadelphia Rebels last weekend. It was also the Titans’ first win in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the 2017-18 season, having previously gone 0-2-1 against the Knights on the road.
Brandon Perrone made 33 saves on 35 shots to notch his 11th victory of the season, while Knights starting goaltender Christian Stoever was chased midway through the second period after giving up four goals on 19 shots.
Hunter Alden broke the ice 10:07 into the opening period, as he received a pass from Todd Goehring in the slot and flung a wrist shot past Stoever’s blocker. It was Alden’s eighth of the season and snapped an eight-game goal drought. A minute and 33 seconds later, Cameron scored his first of the game on a turnaround shot from the left faceoff circle. He is the second player on the team to reach the 10-goal plateau this season.
Near the end of the first period, Tyler Antonucci gave a pass to Ryan Naumovski in the neutral zone, as he darted straight up the middle past the Knights’ defense and flicked a shot over Stoever’s glove to put the Titans’ up by three. Cam Kuhl, who made his debut with the team, was credited with the secondary assist.
The Knights came out buzzing in the second period with a quality scoring chance. Gabe Temple intercepted a pass on his own blue line and was off to the races on a breakaway. He took the shot but was robbed by the glove of Perrone to keep the Knights off the board. Less than a minute later, Naumovski entered the Knights’ zone on the left side and tucked his shot under the crossbar for his second goal of the game. It marked the end of Stoever’s night, who was replaced by David Tomeo for the remainder of the game.
Naumovski was looking for the hat trick with another scoring chance four minutes later, but fanned on the shot. Fortunately, the puck slid to Kyle Jeffers at the doorstep as he deposited his 10th goal of the season.
Wilkes-Barre chipped away at the deficit with two unanswered goals; Anthony Firriolo picked up his first as a Knight at 17:30 of the second while Justin Engelkes scored at 2:08 of the third. The Titans restored the five-goal lead, however, with two more goals in the final 13 minutes of the game. Goehring finished a nice give-and-go with Kyler Head while Cameron earned his second goal of the game by cashing in on the empty net at 17:53.
New Jersey improves its record to 18-15-1 with Thursday’s win, and now trail the third-place Northeast Generals by six points with four games in hand. The Titans will have a chance to gain more ground in the standings as they look to sweep the home-and-home against the Knights. The game will be played tomorrow at the Middletown Sports Complex with a 7:45 p.m. puck drop.