The New Jersey Titans took three out of four possible points last weekend in a two-game set against the Maryland Black Bears at Piney Orchard Arena.
Brody Medeiros scored two goals while Kyle Jeffers had a four-point night in Friday’s 4-3 victory over Maryland. The following night, Luke Mountain scored the overtime-winning goal to propel the Black Bears over the Titans by a score of 3-2. Despite the loss, the Titans have gained at least a point in the standings for three consecutive games, and will look to carry over some momentum into a home series this weekend against the Jamestown Rebels. Here are some takeaways from the Titans’ series against the Black Bears and their upcoming matchup against the Rebels.
In the two games against the Black Bears, the Titans went a combined 4-for-10 on the power play, including three goals in Friday’s 4-3 win. Brody Medeiros scored two of those and increased his season total to four goals. Also contributing on the power play was Jeffers, who recorded three assists, and Haviland, who notched a goal plus an assist on the man advantage.
Jeffers scored his 24th goal of the season on Friday, while Gulash followed up with his 24th goal in Saturday’s overtime loss. With those goals, both players have passed Jordan Kaplan for the New Jersey Titans’ single-season goals record. Kaplan, a New Jersey native currently playing Division I hockey at Sacred Heart, set the previous record with 23 goals in the 2016-17 season. With six games remaining in the regular season, Jeffers and Gulash have the opportunity to raise their totals while re-writing the Titans’ record book.
Sitting on the century mark
Ryan Naumovski picked up an assist on Gulash’s goal on Saturday, putting him at 99 points in his Titans and NAHL career. The Niagara commit is playing in his second season with the Titans and has been a consistent offensive threat for the team. Last year he recorded 46 points (17g, 29a) in 53 games, and currently has 53 points (14g, 39a) in 54 games this season.
Zona makes Titans debut
Brad Zona made his debut with the Titans in Friday’s contest against the Black Bears. The Auburn, Mass. native is an 18-year-old defenseman who played at Cushing Academy and the Eastern Mass. Senators U18 team. He signed a tender agreement earlier this season and was called up to the big club for the series against Maryland. While Zona was held without a point, Titans head coach Craig Doremus said he was pleased with Zona’s performance by bringing additional size and physicality to the team’s blue line.
With the Titans’ upcoming series against the Jamestown Rebels, it could very well be a preview of a first-round matchup in the East Division. The Rebels have already clinched the second seed while the Titans have an eight-point lead over the third-place Northeast Generals with six games remaining in the season.
The Titans, however, have struggled against the Rebels with a 4-5-1 record against them in the 2018-19 season, and have lost the last five matchups. Two weeks ago, New Jersey was outscored 11-2 in a two-game series at Northwest Arena. Now they have a chance at revenge as they take the series back to Middletown. Puck drop for Friday and Saturday’s games are both at 7 p.m. and will be streamed on hockey.tv.com.
Photo Credit: Pete MacDonald (Twitter: @PMacDonald51)