A pair of goals by Ethan Wongus and a solid defensive effort helped to propel the New Jersey Titans to a 5-2 victory over the Johnstown Tomahawks on Saturday night at the Middletown Sports Complex.
While the Titans were able to tighten up defensively, the game didn’t begin that way, with New Jersey surrendering the first goal 1:13 into the game after turning the puck over in the slot on an errant breakout pass. The Titans would do a good job keeping the puck in the offensive zone, and were rewarded when Simon Becar scored his first as a Titan at 10:24 on a shot from the point, assisted by Christian Wood and Riley Fitzgerald. Then, with 2:04 remaining in the period, Ethan Wongus banging a one timer off a deft feed from Dominik Bartecko to give New Jersey their first lead of the game. Reece Brednich picked up the secondary assist to give him points in both games this weekend.
The teams would trade chances in the second period, with the Titans continuing to pour shots on goal, but it would be the Tomahawks who tied the game in the final three minutes of the second with a one handed deflection to knot things up at two apiece, a similar set up from yesterday’s game which went in Johnstown’s favor. The difference tonight was New Jersey’s defense, preventing Tomahawk opportunities and powering the offense to a 26 to 13 shots on goal total through 40 minutes.
Determined not to let yesterday’s story play out again, New Jersey scored twice in 23 seconds to put the game away. First, Johnny McMahon snapped a wrist shot from the top of the circle low to the blocker side giving the Titans a 3-2 lead. Ryan Novo and Matej Teply picked up the helpers on McMahon’s 5th of the year. Then, it was Wongus connecting again for an insurance marker, with Novo and Friedman getting the assists. Reece Brednich put his stamp on the game with a power play goal at 12:16, receiving a pass from Nikita Meshcheryakov and tucking the puck home. Bartecko picked up the other assist on Brednich’s 6th of season.
With the victory, the Titans again are .500 in the standings, moving up to 6th place with a record of 9-9-0. Next, the Titans look forward to their first home and home series of the season, travelling to the Hat City to face the Danbury Jr Hat Tricks, before hosting Danbury the next night in Middletown. Faceoff is scheduled for 7:00pm for both games.