MIDDLETOWN, N.J.- On a night filled with young and eager fans that came out to the game for Scout Night, the New Jersey Titans were able to please the youthful fans and the rest of the home crowd with an exciting 3-2 victory over the Aston Rebels on Saturday night.
The red and black were able to pull out a huge must-win game that snapped a four-game losing streak against the top team in the division and one of the top teams in the league. Aston has had the top defense in the league all season, and despite the Titans only having 17 shots on goal in the game tonight, New Jersey made the most of its opportunities and was strengthened by the brilliant play of Brandon Perrone in the net.
The Titans were able to take the lead when Dylan Healy scored in front of the Rebels net off an assist from Kyler Head and Ryan Wheeler with 10:10 remaining in the first period. Perrone was then able to make a terrific glove save off a shot from the Rebels’ Dom Garcia following the goal, but Aston was able to tie the game at 1-1 towards the end of the period. New Jersey was able to gain the lead back in the second period after Head broke free on a breakaway and snuck a goal passed the stick side of Aston goalie Mareks Mitens. Jordan Kaplan got in the action as well with a wrist shot goal during a five-on-three powerplay midway through the second period that gave New Jersey a 3-1 lead. Aston was able to cut the lead to 3-2 towards the end of the second period, but the Titans prevailed in the third frame to hold onto the 3-2 victory.
Healy, who scored the first Titans goal and had two assists, felt that preparation led to his and the team’s success.
“You know, it was just the matter of preparation and coming out. We knew we had our backs up against the wall and it was good to get that win. It was a good team win,” said Healy.
Kaplan, who ranks second on the team with 33 individual points, explained the importance of this win for his team tonight.
“It definitely shows us that, obviously, we could play against the best team in the league. We just need to stay positive, focus on the details, and just trust each other out on the ice, and I think that’s been the biggest thing for us, definitely,” said Kaplan.
Titans head coach Craig Doremus was not only happy about the team’s big win tonight, but happy to see the joy on the faces of his young players at the conclusion of the game.
“I think the biggest thing I enjoyed is seeing their smiles after the game. Obviously, it’s supposed to be a sport, they’re young men, they got to have fun while they do this. I know they get pressure put on them from me and their parents and schools and what not, but at the end of the day you got to go back that’s it’s just a game, and to see the kids smiling and having fun is really to me what’s important for them to take out of tonight,” said Doremus.
Doremus also mentioned the keys for his team during their next game, which will again be at home against Aston.
“I think consistency. You want to come out and have the same type of pace and energy and physicality to your game. Obviously, tonight, our fans did a great job of giving us the extra boost of support. I know Wednesday we’ll have a bunch of kids here for the school day game and we got to be able to generate that energy from within and continue to play good hockey,” said Doremus.
Wednesday’s game against Aston will be in the morning at 10:30 a.m. and will have local schools in the community coming to attend the game.
Tickets are available at the Middletown Sports Complex. Information about the Titans home games can also be reached at (732) 856-9700. For further information about game updates and more, follow the Titans on Twitter at @NAHLTitans or visit njtitansnahl.com!
By: Richie Todd, Titans Media Staff