The East Division leading Titans travel to Maryland tomorrow for a critical two-game series against the second place Black Bears at the Piney Orchard Arena. There are only two points that separate the teams in the standings. Friday’s contest begins at 7:30PM while Saturday’s game starts at 7:00PM.
Black Bears vs. Titans Overview
This will be the seventh and eighth meetings with the teams splitting the previous six games, although the Black Bears have outscored the Titans by a combined margin of 23 – 18. Two of the three Titans wins have been on the road, and four of the six games have been played at the Piney Orchard arena.
The last time they played was on January 25 when the Titans overcame a three-goal deficit to defeat the Black Bears 6 – 5 at the Middletown Sports Complex. Anthony Calafiore scored a hat trick, which included the game winner with 1:25 remaining in the contest.
Branden Piku leads Maryland with 11 total points (5 goals and 6 assists) against the Titans and goals (5). Maryland is 4 for 24 (17%) on the powerplay against the Red Buckets while the Black Bears goalies have a combined 2.93 goals against average and .903 save percentage with one shutout (Michael Morelli on opening night).
Tommy Bannister (3 goals and 4 assists) and Brendan Dumas (2 goals and 5 assists) each have seven total points to lead the Titans against the Black Bears while Calafiore has scored the most goals against them (four). The Titans are 5 for 21 (24%) on the powerplay against the Black Bears while the Titans netminders have a combined 3.75 goals against average and .889 save percentage with no shutouts.
Black Bears Overview
Maryland is currently in second place in the East Division with a 24-9-5-3 record for 56 points. The Black Bears are coming off a 4 – 2 road win against the Northeast Generals (the team’s split last weekend’s series), and they have won five of their last ten games. The Black Bears have scored 146 goals on the season (9th in the league) while they have allowed 113 (6th best in the league). Maryland is 23 for 143 (16.1%) on the powerplay (20th in the league), and they have allowed six goals while on the man advantage. The Black Bears are 84% efficient on the penalty kill (8th in the league), and they have scored eight shorthanded goals (including one against the Titans).
Ryan Bottrill leads the Black Bears with 48 total points (13 goals and 35 assists) while Piku has scored the most goals (18). Conor Cole and PIku each have three game winning goals. Piku also has a team high +28 while Laker Aldridge has the most penalty minutes on the team with 87.
Maryland’s goaltenders have a combined 2.50 goals against average and .916 save percentage with four shutouts (Luca Di Pasquo has three while Morelli has one (against New Jersey)).
The Titans currently lead the East Division with a 28-11-2-0 record for 58 points. They are coming off a 6 – 3 home victory over the Northeast Generals that was played on February 5 (the Titans have been off since then, although they swept the home series against the Generals that weekend), and they have won seven out of their last 10 games. New Jersey has scored 160 goals on the season (2nd in the league) while they have allowed 120 (8th in the league). The Titans have converted on 17.4% (26 for 149) of their chances on the powerplay (16th in the league), and they have allowed five goals while on the man advantage. The Red Buckets are 83% efficient on the penalty kill (11th in the league). The Titans have scored six shorthand goals.
Bannister leads the team with 50 total points (17 goals and 33 assists) while Calafiore has a team high 18 goals and six game winning goals. David Posma has a team (and league) best +33. Blake Farrell has a team high 129 penalty minutes.
The Titans goaltenders have a combined 2.86 goals against average and .905 save percentage with one shutout (Andrew Takacs).