The New Jersey Titans spoiled the Rebels’ first home weekend by sweeping a back-to-back with victories on Friday and Saturday night.
Cam Gendron finished the weekend with three goals while Matt Ladd and Brandon Perrone shut the door in 3-2 and 6-3 wins respectively over the Rebels. Titans head coach Craig Doremus spoke about the team’s bounce back after winning three straight and improving its record to 7-5-0.
“It’s the commitment to playing hard and being hard to play against, the details as far as our structure and the way we want to play style-wise. I thought the guys had a good focus throughout the weekend on sticking tactically to what we want to achieve, and full marks for them to be able to do it in a tough environment (in Jamestown).”
Alex Frye opened the scoring for the Rebels on Friday, at 4:54 of the first period. Bryce Witman responded by scoring his first two goals of the season in the opening minutes of the second and third periods. Gendron added an insurance goal at 16:38, but it would stand as the game-winner after Sam Anzai scored a power-play goal at 18:53 to make it a 3-2 game. Ladd finished the night with 21 saves and won the Rebels’ first-ever game in Jamestown.
The following night, the Titans struck first with a power-play goal from Gendron at 7:36 of the first period. In the middle frame, Auggie Moore and Alex Frye scored two unanswered to put the Rebels up 2-1, the second one coming with 1:41 remaining in the period. It only took 12 seconds for the Titans to respond, however, as Craig McCabe netted his first of the season. Just 21 seconds after that, Kyle Jeffers scored to put the Titans up 3-2.
New Jersey went on to control the third period with goals from Gendron, Jeffers and Naumovski, as the team cruised to a 6-3 victory. Doremus spoke about Gendron, who finished the weekend with three goals after not scoring since opening night.
“He came to us as a gifted goal scorer when you look back on his career, and I think for him it’s just a matter of growing into himself as a player and starting to understand what it takes to play junior hockey,” Doremus said. “The least amount of our concern is his ability to finish around the net. He’s been able to do that throughout his career, it’s just a matter of him becoming a complete 200-foot player.”
Doremus also spoke about Perrone, who made 26 saves and earned his first win since opening night against the Maryland Black Bears on Sept 14.
“It was huge. You could see it on his face right away when the final buzzer went off. He had taken a monkey off his back, and credit to Brandon. He went through some different things, preparation-wise both during the week and pregame to change his mentality and approach to going into the game,” he said. “I don’t think his losses have necessarily been his fault, I think there’s been some bad puck-luck, but it’s good to see him get back in the win column.”
The Titans return to Middletown Sports Complex for a two-game set against the Northeast Generals (4-5-0), with the contests being held on Friday at 7:45 p.m. and Saturday at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are available for both games, and they will also be streamed on hockeytv.com.