The New Jersey Titans will open up the 2017-18 campaign this weekend with a home-and-home series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights.
Tonight will officially start the Titans’ third season in New Jersey as they open their season in Wilkes-Barre to face the Knights, and will return to Middletown Sports Complex for their home opener against the Knights on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Last season, the Titans posted a record of 34-22-1-3 and finished 3rd in the East Division. They went on to win their first playoff series in New Jersey by sweeping the Johnstown Tomahawks 3-0 and forced a decisive Game 5 in the East Division Final against the Aston Rebels, but saw their season end with a 6-2 loss.
The Titans will look to improve this season and make it to Minnesota to compete for the Robertson Cup. Head coach Craig Doremus believes that his squad–having a strong veteran presence–can achieve that goal.
“We have veteran returning players who the experience, both positively and negatively, of going through a season last year and coming up short. It will be a big improvement over having a lot of new guys being naive of what they’re about to go through,” Doremus said.
Among the more experienced Titans, defenseman Tyler Antonucci will lead the way as the team’s captain. The Saddle Brook, NJ native recorded 27 points in 48 games last season while acting as a solid presence on the blue line. He said he feels confident about opening weekend because of the team’s extensive preparation throughout the summer.
“Coach (Doremus) brought us in early to get us ready for this part of the season. We reported a lot earlier than most of the other teams, and using that extra time to prepare, we’re ready to go and we can’t wait to get the season started,” he said.
Consistency, according to Doremus, is something he hopes the team can improve on this season. With the extra preparation put in over the summer, he’s confident the team can build off a great 2016-17 campaign and do even better this year. He said that now it’s just a matter of execution.
“The players are chomping at the bit to get out there and prove themselves and get this journey started together,” he said.