The Titans will host the Maryland Black Bears tomorrow night at the Middletown Sports Complex with a puck drop slated for 7:35PM. It will be New Jersey’s home opener, and their only game of the weekend.
This will be the second season in a row that the Titans will face the Black Bears in their home opener. Last year Maryland defeated the Titans 5 – 3. Overall, the Red Buckets are 1 and 5 in their home opener in six seasons having been outscored by a combined margin of 23 – 19.
Black Bears vs Titans Overview
This will be the third meeting out of 12 games this season between the teams. They met back on September 10 and 11 to begin their respective season at the Piney Orchard Arena in Odenton, MD. Each team won a game with Maryland winning the opener 5 – 0 and then Brandon Avezov scored with 1:49 remaining in overtime to give the Titans a 4 – 3 win back on September 11.
Although each team has won a game, the Black Bears have outscored the Titans by a combined margin of 8 – 4. Maryland’s Branden Piku leads the Black Bears with six total points (3 goals and 3 assists) and goals (three) against the Titans after two games. Maryland is 2 for 10 (20%) with the man advantage. Michael Morrelli has played in both games between the pipes, and he possesses a 1.46 goals against average and .094 save percentage with one shutout.
Tommy Bannister and Jack Karlsson each have a goal and an assist against the Black Bears while Levente Keresztes has two assists. The Titans are 1 for 10 (10%) on the powerplay while the Red Buckets goaltenders have a combined 3.90 goals against average and .876 save percentage.
Black Bears Overview
Maryland is currently in second place in the East Division with a 4-3-1 record for eight points. They are coming off a 3 – 0 home loss to the Maine Nordiques (the teams split last weekend), and they have won two out of their last five games. The Black Bears have scored 26 goals on the season (5th in the league) while they have allowed 23 (25th in the league). Maryland is 4 for 31 (12.9%) on the powerplay (24th in the league). They have three short-handed goals allowed. The Black Bears are 85.7% efficient on the penalty kill (sixth in the league), and they have scored four shorthanded goals (most in the league).
Luke Van Way (3 goals and 7 assists) and Ryan Bottrill (2 goals and 8 assists) lead the team with ten points respectively. Five different players have scored three goals while four different players have a game winning goal. PIku has a team best +7. James Tepper has a team high 49 penalty minutes.
Maryland’s goaltenders have a combined 2.62 goals against average and .911 save percentage with one shutout (Morelli).
The Titans are currently in third place in the East Division with a 4 – 4 record for eight points. They are coming off a 4 – 3 shootout road win over the Jamestown Rebels (the Titans swept Jamestown last weekend), while they have won three of their last five games. New Jersey has scored 22 goals on the season (tenth in the league) while they have allowed 29 (25th in the league). The Titans have converted on 18.2% (6 for 33) of their chances on the powerplay (15th in the league). They have allowed two goals while on the man advantage. The Red Buckets are 78.3% efficient on the penalty kill (19th in the league). The Titans have scored two shorthand goals (tied for second most in the league).
Avezov (6 goals and 2 assists) and Bannister (5 goals and 3 assists) each have a team high eight points while Avezov leads the team in goals (6). Three different players have a game winning goal. Avexov has a team best +5. Blake Farrell has a team high 29 penalty minutes.
The Titans goaltenders have a combined 3.56 goals against average and .879 save percentage with no shutouts.