The New Jersey Titans were defeated by the Jamestown Rebels by a score of 2-0 at Middletown Sports Complex on Saturday night.
Rebels goaltender Ryan Keane stopped all 32 shots he faced Alex Roy notched a goal and an assist to improve his team’s record to 22-10-5. Ryan Winter made 25 saves on 27 shots in a losing effort, as the Titans record moves to 19-18-0.
In a stretch of the season where the Titans have struggled to win the second game of a back-to-back, Kyle Jeffers said there was noticeably more effort and energy in the second game than previous weekends.
“It’s frustrating, but I thought we played a good game and we got a lot of pucks on net. We just need to convert on the power play and I think we should be good next game,” the 20-year-old forward said.
Head coach Craig Doremus agreed that it was a better effort–as the Titans outshot the Rebels 24-13 in the final two periods–and gave credit to Keane’s performance.
“We had a few quality chances, and Keane is a good goaltender that made some big saves and kept his team ahead throughout,” he said.
Roy opened up the scoring at 15:17 of the first period when he caught a pass at the top of the left circle and fired a slap shot over Winter’s glove, collecting his third goal of the season. Shortly after the goal, Jake LaRusso made a nifty chip pass to Ryan Naumovski for a breakaway opportunity, but Keane made a glove save off a quick shot.
The Titans continued to generate more quality opportunities in the second and third periods, but were ultimately unable to solve the 20-year-old goaltender Keane. Jeffers had an open shot between the hash marks and fired wrister hit off the crossbar and went over the glass. Minutes later, LaRusso ripped a one-timer from point-blank range in search of his first NAHL goal, but Keane made a save with the right pad.
Ian Carpenter doubled the lead when he took a wrister from the top of the left circle, the same spot Roy scored his goal. There were two Rebels players in front of the goal, and Carpenter’s shot found a way through traffic as he picked up his first goal of the season.
“We were unable to clear the zone, but it’s tough to do that when a player’s stick is getting hooked and held when he has the puck,” Doremus said of the play leading to Carpenter’s goal.
While Doremus was hesitant to say the Titans were the better team, the general consensus is the team put together a more complete effort in a back-to-back. Jeffers revealed that the team held a players-only meeting prior to Friday’s morning skate, in an effort to regroup while holding each other accountable.
“We just put everybody together, just tried to get things straightened out and keep things on track. I think this weekend, the guys responded and played well,” Jeffers said.
The Titans return to action this weekend with a home-and-home against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights. This first game will take place at Revolution Ice Centre at 3:00 p.m., and Saturday’s game will take place at Middletown Sports Complex with a 7:30 p.m. puck drop.
Photo credit: Pete MacDonald (@PMacDonald51)