Zak Brice recorded his second shutout in his past three games as the New Jersey Titans sent the New Hampshire Mountain Kings to their 6th loss in a row on Saturday night at the Middletown Sports Complex.
Rather than waiting until the third period like last night, the Titans jumped on the board in the first period when Dominick Rivelli popped home a rebound at 13:30 to give the Titans a 1-0 lead. Nikita Meshcheryakov and Dominik Bartecko assisted on the New Jersey captain’s 11th of the season. Just 1:25 later, Jack Hillier launched a wrist shot from the top of the circle that found the back of the net for his 5th of the season. Johnny McMahon and Zak Brice picked up the helpers. Brice has now recorded assists in back to back games, after battery mate Dylan Krick added his first assist in last night’s game. New Jersey took the 2-0 lead into the intermission, outshooting New Hampshire 14-10 in the opening frame.
A scoreless second period set the stage for the pivotal third, and after a penalty at the end of the second, the Titans began with a man advantage. The power play unit would make no mistake, scoring 29 seconds into the period when Nikita Meshcheryakov lasered home a shot for his 11th of the season. In 23 games this season, Meshcheryakov has recorded multiple points in 7 of them, including tonight. Matej Teply and Reece Brednich received the assists on the Russian forward’s 11th of the season, joining Ethan Wongus, Dominick Rivelli, and Dominik Bartecko for the team lead. The Mountain Kings would gain a few power play chances themselves, but Zak Brice shut the door, stopping all 32 shots sent his way for the second shutout of the season and fifth of his NAHL career.
With the win, the Titans improve to 17-13-1 with 35 points at the halfway point of the season. They remain in 4th place in the division, now trailing the Northeast Generals by only 2 points for third. New Jersey will ride a 3 game winning streak into their holiday break, with two weeks to spend with family before they head to western Pennsylvania for a two game set against the Johnstown Tomahawks on January 5th and 6th. Both games will be available to watch on NAHLtv.