Skating in a home and home series for the first time in the regular season, the New Jersey Titans split the weekend, falling 4-2 on Friday in Danbury before recovering for an 8-3 victory on Saturday at the Middletown Sports Complex.
Friday night saw the Titans’ 18 game winning streak over Danbury get snapped on the strength of four unanswered goals in the third period. Kristofers Krumins got New Jersey on the board in the first period, with Jack Hillier picking up the lone assist. Nikita Meshcheryakov doubled the lead for the Titans in the second, assisted by Ethan Wongus and Dominik Bartecko. However, the wheels came off in the third period, as the Titans surrendered two goals in the first 4:25, before allowing the game winning goal halfway through the period. An empty net goal in the final minute provided the Hat Tricks with an insurance marker, and the Titans fell to the Jr Hat Tricks for the first time since November 18th, 2021.
After bussing home that night, the Titans hosted Danbury for the back half of the home and home series, yet again they gave up the first goal of the game, this time 2:10 into the game. Wongus tied the game four minutes later, and Johnny McMahon would give New Jersey the lead with a power play tally at 11:34, but Danbury answered 22 seconds later to level the game at 2. The Titans were awarded a penalty shot at 14:37 when a Danbury defenseman covered the puck in the crease, and Bartecko would go five-hole to restore the lead. Kai Elkie then scored his first goal in the NAHL 12 seconds later to send the Titans into the locker room with a 4-2 lead for the first intermission. Goals from Ryan Friedman, Matej Teply, and a second from McMahon extended the lead to 7-2 through 40 minutes of play, and Riley Fitzgerald added another in the third to help the Titans avenge the previous night’s loss.
With the split, New Jersey is once again .500 in the standings, with a record of 10-10-0, good for 5th place in the nine team East Division. Coming up next, the Titans will travel down to Odenton, MD, for a two game series against the first place Maryland Black Bears. New Jersey lost the first two meetings between the teams, by scores of 3-2 and 3-0. Faceoff is scheduled for 7:30 on Friday and Saturday at the Piney Orchard Ice Arena.