Mac Wiseman scored the overtime-winning goal in the New Jersey Titans’ 2-1 victory over the Jamestown Rebels at Middletown Sports Complex on Saturday night.
Kyle Jeffers finished the night with a goal and an assist while goaltender Ryan Winter made 31 saves in his Titans debut. With New Jersey’s win over the Rebels, they improve to 15-10-0 while taking a one-point lead over Jamestown for 2nd place in the East Division.
“We thought the pace was really good, and the level of play between both teams was extremely high,” said Titans head coach Craig Doremus. “Both teams really competed and pushed the pace, it leads to an overtime where either team could have won the game, and I’m glad we were able to walk away with two points.”
New Jersey started strong in the opening minutes of the opening frame, but Jamestown made a push with numerous offensive chances later in the period. Winter made a few big saves on a handful of odd-man rushes and breakaways, making a strong first impression with his new team.
“Those kind of saves always gives you a big boost in confidence and helps make the game go a lot smoother. You get those stops under your belt early and you feel like you can stop everything,” Winter said.
Kyle Jeffers opened the scoring at 7:13 of the first period with a power-play goal. He received a pass from Zach Nazzarett at the bottom of the left faceoff circle, made a quick pivot towards the net and flicked a shot over the glove of Rebels goaltender Noah West. It was his team-leading 15th goal of the season.
“Kyle is a very important part of our team. He gets a lot of ice time in a lot of situations, and in order for us to make the next step as a team, we need players like him to step up and raise their level,” Doremus said of Jeffers. “They have to separate themselves from the rest of the players and the results need to show up on the scoreboard.”
The Rebels evened the score at 8:13 of the third period when Alex Frye slammed a one-timer in the low slot off a feed from Jimmy Glynn. The shot beat Winter glove side as Frye picked up his 13th goal of the season. It remained tied at the end of regulation, sending the contest into overtime.
Both teams had a few chances at the start of the three-on-three session, as Winter and West traded a handful of good saves. As the overtime approached the three-minute mark, Wiseman broke up a pass in his own end while Jeffers started a two-on-one the other way. Jeffers laid a pass across to Wiseman, as he roofed a backhander over West for the game-winning goal.
“I saw Jeffers busting down the left wing, so I decided to follow him up. Sure enough, he fed it to me and I was lucky enough to put it in,” Wiseman said of the goal. “It’s always awesome when the boys are really into the game, and everyone is up cheering for each other. It’s just as good with the competition and the two teams being ready to play.”
After the game, Doremus also spoke about Winter’s debut with the team, making 31 saves just days after being acquired from the Amarillo Bulls.
“He was spectacular. Ryan made some really big saves throughout the game, especially in the first period when the Rebels seemed to take it to us late in the period. He gave us an ability to win the game, competed and allowed us to maintain some distance in the game whether it be the 1-0 lead or keeping it a 1-1 tie heading into overtime.”
Both teams have a quick turnaround as they play the second end of a back-to-back today at 3:10 p.m. at Middletown Sports Complex. Fans in attendance can partake in a free holiday raffle, and the game will be streamed on hockeytv.com.