The New Jersey Titans gave up three goals in the first period on Saturday night, leading to a 4-3 loss to the Maryland Black Bears at Piney Orchard Arena.
Maryland jumped to a 3-0 lead within the first eight minutes of the game, forcing the Titans to play a game of catch-up that fell just short. Chris Garbe picked up a goal and an assist while Zach Nazzrett and Kyle Jeffers added goals in a losing effort.
Jake Sujishi opened the scoring when he tipped a point-shot from Luc Salem, which beat Perrone at 1:42 of the first period. George Vonakis doubled the lead one minute and 13 seconds later when he put away a rebound for his first NAHL goal. Luke Mountain capped the three-goal period when carried the puck into the left side of the Titans zone, and flung a wrist shot over Perrone’s glove at 7:48.
New Jersey came out strong in the second period, and nearly scored when Gavin Gulash rips a shot right off the faceoff, but hit the left post. It was Chris Garbe who finally broke through at 6:40, when he cleaned up a rebound from Josef Glamos’ shot. It was Garbe’s fourth of the season and made the score 3-1.
The Titans built off Friday’s strong showing on the power play when Nazzarett cut the deficit to one. Spencer Stanley took a shot from the right faceoff dot where Anthony Del Tufo made the save, but the puck went right to the stick of Zach Nazzarett as he buried the rebound and reduced the deficit to 3-2.
The Black Bears regained a two-goal lead on a quick turn of events. Glamos cut to the net on an odd-man rush, but was hooked by Daylon Mannon and was unable to receive a centering pass. Maryland went back the other way on a two-on-one, and Max Borst ripped a shot five-hole to make it 4-2.
With nine seconds remaining in the middle period, Luc Salem threw a knee-on-knee hit on Ryan Naumovski, then cross-checked Nazzarett from behind and was assessed a five-minute major. Head coach Craig Doremus voiced his displeasure regarding some of the recent non-calls late in the period and was given a bench minor.
Despite the major being shortened to a three-minute power play, Jeffers converted for his 22nd goal of the season. Kyler Head dished a pass from below the goal line to the low slot, where Jeffers tapped in a shot high-glove side and cut the deficit to 4-3.
With time winding down, Spencer Stanley took a wrist shot from the point that found its way through traffic and was deflected in front, but Del Tufo managed to make the save and keep the puck out. Time eventually ran out as the Black Bears managed to hang on for the 4-3 victory.
The defeat snapped a three-game winning streak for the Titans, but they go right back into action on Wednesday when they host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. Puck drop is slated for 11 a.m., and the game will be streamed on hockeytv.com.
Photo Credit: Pete MacDonald (@PMacDonald51)