The New Jersey Titans will depart approximately 1:00 PM tomorrow afternoon and travel to Danbury, CT to take on the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks (formerly the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights) to open the 2020-21 season for both teams.
The first game of this two-game series will be held on Friday, October 9 while the second will take place on Saturday, October 10 with both games starting at 7:05 PM at the Danbury Ice Arena.
A lot has changed since the Titans played their last game back on March 11 against the Knights (a 5 – 2 win for the Titans). Wilkes-Barre/Scranton relocated after five seasons to Danbury, and the Jr. Hat Tricks have hired NAHL alum Billy McCreary to be the team’s head coach replacing Tom Kowal.
While last year was the best in the Titans five-year history on the ice (most wins, points and goals) and off (19 NCAA college commitments), this year’s team only has five returners from last season: forwards Matthew Iasenza (’00) and Jake LaRusso (’02) and defensemen Tyler Nasca (’01), David Parker (’01) and Brad Zona (’00).
Jr. Hat Tricks (WBS Knights) vs. Titans: 2019-20
Last season the Titans defeated the Knights seven out of eight contests by a combined score of 37 – 23. The last time these teams played Shane Haviland had a pair of goals while Mitch Machlitt, Michael Outzen and Cam Gendron each hit the back of the net in the 5 – 2 win.
A couple of players who followed the Knights from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton include forward Shane Murphy and defenseman and Brown University commit Spencer Evans.
The roster also includes former Corpus Christi IceRays Ben Biester and Luke Wheeler as well as touted defenseman Nolan Barrett and forwards Alex Krause and Cody Hoban.
It will be the fifth season that the Red Buckets will be under the helm of general manager and head coach Craig Doremus. Last season Doremus, the Queens, NY native, was the NAHL’s East Division’s General Manager of the Year. Despite the roster turnover, he is optimistic about the upcoming season.
“We are excited to start the 20/21 season” stated Doremus. “This has been an exciting off season for all of us as we put together the parts of our team. Our scouting staff worked long and hard to help build this roster and we are eager to get the games going. While we will roll out many new faces, we are eager to see them compete and produce and continue the tradition of Titans’ hockey. I think we have a very strong mixture of veterans and some new faces at all positions and they have all come together nicely during training camp. I know we are all eager to compete against some opponents now” concluded Doremus.