As the Titans get ready for its fourth season in New Jersey, the North American Hockey League released its full schedule for the 2018-19 campaign on Monday. Here are some notes about the Titans’ schedule and notable games throughout the season.
Distribution of home and away games:
This season will see a better balance of home and away games for the Titans. Last year, only seven of the first 30 games were played in Middletown, while 23 of the last 30 games were played at home. This season, the first and last 30 games will each have 15 home contests.
Another notable difference between this season and last is the length of home stands and road trips. In 2017-18, there were separate six-game, seven-game and eight-game road trips, with only one home stand longer than three games; a stretch of seven home contests in February and March. In 2018-19, there will be no road trips lasting more than three games–with the exception of the NAHL Showcase from Sept 19-22–and the Titans will have three separate home stands lasting four games.
New team in town:
The addition of the Maryland Black Bears means all four divisions in the NAHL will have six teams. It also means the Titans will no longer face an East Division rival 16 times in the regular season. In 2017-18, the Titans faced the Philadelphia Rebels and Northeast Generals 16 times while facing the Johnstown Tomahawks and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights 12 times each.
This season, New Jersey will face each team in the East Division 12 times. The only exception is the Johnstown Tomahawks, as the two teams will only face each other eight times in 2018-19.
Here are some notable dates to look out for throughout the Titans’ upcoming season:
Sept 14-15, at Maryland Black Bears:
The Titans will have the honor of being the Maryland Black Bears’ first ever opponent, as both teams will open up their regular season at Piney Orchard Ice Arena.
Sept 28-29, vs. Johnstown Tomahawks:
Following the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minn., the Titans will have its home-opener on Sept. 28 against the Tomahawks.
Oct 5-6, vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights:
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights defeated the Titans in five games in the East Division semifinal, and made it all the way to the Robertson Cup Final before losing to the Shreveport Mudbugs. Oct. 5 and 6 will feature a home-and-home starting in Wilkes-Barre before coming back to New Jersey. It will be their first matchup since the 2018 playoff series.
Oct 12, at Jamestown Rebels:
The Rebels have now relocated for the third time in as many years; this time to Jamestown, N.Y. Oct. 12 will be the first time the Titans travel to Northwest Arena to play against the Rebels.
Oct 26, vs. Maryland Black Bears:
Titans fans will get a chance to see the new expansion team as the Black Bears make its first trip to Middletown.
Dec 21-22 vs. Northeast Generals:
The Titans will close out 2018 with two home games against the Generals, and hopefully head into the holiday break on top of the East Division.
Mar 29-30, vs. Maryland Black Bears:
The Titans will play its final two home games of the regular season against the Black Bears. After that, the team will wrap up the regular season with two games on the road against the Generals.
The Titans’ full schedule of the 2018-19 season can be viewed here: http://www.njtitansnahl.com/stats/schedule/10/168/all-months/homeaway?league=1