Weekly Recap vs Philadelphia & Maine

Mar 11, 2024

The New Jersey Titans faced another busy week with 3 games in five games, first on the road against Philadelphia before heading north to see the Maine Nordiques.

Looking to avenge the previous Tuesday’s 7-2 loss, New Jersey nonetheless needed to come from behind after surrendering a goal halfway through the first period. A Rebels’ power play goal early in the second put the Titans down by two, until Nikita Meshcheryakov scored his 18th of the season just over a minute later to cut the deficit in half. Philadelphia regained the two goal lead with another power play marker in the dying moments of the period, and they would score again a minute into the third to open a three goal lead. Showing a tenacity that hasn’t always been present, the Titans began their comeback. First, it was Dominik Bartecko’s 23rd of the season that jumpstarted the offense, followed by goals from Jack Hillier and Matt Henry that tied the game with under five minutes to play. Zak Brice stood tall in overtime, forcing the game to a shootout, where Meshcheryakov would be the only goal scorer to produce a 5-4 victory.

Now riding a 3 game winning streak and winners in 6 of their last 7, New Jersey traveled to The Colisee in Lewiston, Maine, to face the high flying Maine Nordiques. The Titans took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission when Ryan Novo potted his 5th of the season with three minutes to go in the opening frame. Dominik Bartecko extended the lead to 2-0 with his 24th of the season halfway through the second, tying Mitch Machlitt’s franchise record of 62 points in a season. However, the Nordiques, owners of the most prolific offense in the league this season, scored twice before the end of the period to tie the game going into the third.

Bartecko made Titans’ history when he assisted on Ryan Friedman’s goal 70 seconds into the third for his 63rd point of the season. For Friedman, it was his 10th of the season. Jack Hillier picked up the secondary assist, stretching his point streak to 12 straight games. Maine found the equalizer on the power play a few minutes later, but Hillier answered back for New Jersey with his 14th of the season to restore the lead. It would not hold, as the Nordiques tied the game in the final minute with their goaltender pulled, forcing overtime. Five minutes of 3 on 3 action didn’t produce an answer, but in the shootout it was Arhip Sidarovich who roofed a backhanded shot to give the Titans their fourth straight victory. With the win, Zak Brice became the franchise all-time leader with 42, surpassing Brandon Perrone’s previous mark.

Stung by the loss, the Nordiques pounced on Saturday night, scoring three goals in the first period, including two on the power play, to put the Titans behind early. Dominick Rivelli scored 24 seconds into the second period, but two quick goals by Maine minutes later would ultimately prove to put the game out of reach. Logan Renkowski and Novo scored towards the end of the period to send New Jersey into the second intermission down 5-3, but the offense could not find the back of the net in the third, and an empty net goal late sealed a 6-3 win for Maine.

With the weekend split, the Titans’ record now stands at 28-21-3. Though their winning streak was snapped, the recent run of wins has opened a 9 point gap between the 5th place Titans and the 6th place Northeast Generals. New Jersey is 4 points behind Johnstown for 4th place and home ice advantage in the Play-In Round of the Robertson Cup Playoffs. 

New Jersey will end the season on an 8 game home stand, beginning this weekend as they host the Northeast Generals for the final time. Games are scheduled for 7:30pm on Friday, March 15th, and 7:00pm, March 16th, at the Middletown Sports Complex. Tickets may be purchased by following this link.