Weekly Recap vs Philadelphia & Johnstown

Apr 1, 2024

The New Jersey Titans secured 4 of 6 possible points in three games this week at the Middletown Sports Complex, shutting out Philadelphia 4-0 on Tuesday night before splitting the weekend against the Johnstown Tomahawks, falling by a score of 5-2 on Friday evening before recovering for a 6-2 victory on Saturday.

Coming out of a ten day layoff, New Jersey outshot Philadelphia 15 to 7 in the first period but could not find the back of the net.  The drought would not last more than a minute into the second when Dominik Bartecko sent home a Nikita Meshcheryakov pass for his 26th goal of the season.  Kyle Kim doubled the lead two minutes later when he went bar down for his 2nd of the year, followed by an even strength goal from Reece Brednich later in the period, his 9th, to take a 3-0 lead into the second intermission.  Meshcheryakov potted his 19th of the year in the third period to seal the game away, and Zak Brice stopped all 26 shots he faced to secure his 3rd shutout of the season and the 6th of his career, setting a new franchise record.

Now riding a three game winning streak, New Jersey was served a harsh reminder of their play from earlier in the season on Friday night against the Johnstown Tomahawks, surrendering three goals in the first period.  The Tomahawks added another in the second period, extending their lead to 4-0.  Dominick Rivelli scored on the power play 31 seconds into the third period for his team leading 28th of the season, and Meshcheryakov scored 12 seconds later for his 20th, but Johnstown called their timeout and battened down the hatches defensively to prevent the Titans from scoring again.  A late goal by the Tomahawks sent New Jersey to a 5-2 loss.  With the victory, Johnstown clinched the season series, controlling the tiebreaker in the standings and locking the Titans into 5th place, guaranteeing that New Jersey will begin their pursuit of the 2024 Robertson Cup on the road.

Undeterred, the Titans limited the Tomahawks to 5 shots on goal in the first period of Saturday’s game.  New Jersey got on the board 12 minutes in when Leo Schwartz scored off a shot from the blue line for his 4th of the season.  The offense from defensemen continued when Simon Becar got his 2nd of the year in the second period from another shot from the point.  Johnstown would get one of their own with just over 3 minutes to go in the period, setting the stage for a competitive third period.  Bartecko restored the two goal lead with his 27th of the year 3:31 into the final frame, but the Tomahawks responded in kind minutes later.  New Jersey then put the game away with three unanswered goals from Rivelli, Meshcheryakov, and Bartecko to skate away with a 6-2 victory.  Bartecko recorded five points in the game, and now has 12 points in his last 5 games.  Rivelli’s goal in the third period was his 29th of the season, tying the franchise record set by Michael Young last season.  

New Jersey has three games remaining in the regular season, all at home.  On Tuesday night, the Titans will host a desperate Philadelphia, who sit tied with the Northeast Generals for the final playoff spot in the East Division.  Then, the Titans finish the regular season by hosting the Maine Nordiques for games on Friday and Saturday nights.  Tickets for all three games can be purchased by following this link.