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 New Jersey Titans

Titans Sweep Johnstown, Advance to Play Maryland

April 15, 2024 - North American Hockey League (NAHL)
New Jersey Titans News Release

The New Jersey Titans swept the Johnstown Tomahawks for the second time in franchise history, winning two games on the road to advance to the East Division Semifinals.

Friday night began with the Tomahawks fueled by the 2000+ fans at the 1st Summit Arena at the Cambria County War Memorial, at one point outshooting the Titans 12-2 in the first period. Starting goaltender Zak Brice stood tall, only yielding one goal in the first 20 minutes as New Jersey was outshot 13-5. Johnstown would double their lead halfway through the second, but Ryan Novo got the Titans on the board at 5:16 off a goalmouth scramble to cut the deficit in half. Matej Teply and Leo Schwartz assisted on the West Point commit's first postseason goal.

Roughly 30 seconds later, Johnstown forward Taybor Aldrich ran Brice over in the crease and was assessed a five minute major for charging and a game misconduct. Aldrich would additionally be suspended the next game. Now with Dylan Krick now in goal and making his playoff debut, Ryan Friedman scored with 1.2 seconds remaining in the period on the ensuing power play. Teply and Dominick Rivelli got the assists, and the Titans headed into the second intermission tied at 2.

With no scoring in the third period, Game 1 would head to overtime. Just 3:39 into the extra frame, Logan Renkowski picked up a Reece Brednich pass off the boards and wired home a wrist shot to complete the comeback and give the Titans a chance to advance on Saturday night.

Up 1-0 in the series, Arhip Sidarovich gave New Jersey an early lead 2:41 into Game 2, in a first period where the Titans generated 13 shots on goal. The Tomahawks tied the game on the power play in the second period, setting the stage for a decisive third.

The teams traded chances and the game seemed destined for overtime once more, until Odin Ford was able to poke a puck forward for Rivelli. New Jersey's captain found himself on a two on one with Ryan Novo, and one pass later New Jersey had the lead on Novo's second of the playoffs. Getting desperate, Johnstown continued to push the offensive attack, leading to a defensive breakdown. Rivelli added an insurance marker with just over a minute to go, and Dominik Bartecko scored his first playoff goal in three years seconds later to give New Jersey a 4-1 victory and the series sweep.

Up next for the Titans is a Best of 5 matchup against the top seeded Maryland Black Bears. Game 1 is Friday, April 19th, at 7:00pm, and Game 2 is Saturday, April 20th, at 6:30pm at the Piney Orchard Ice Arena in Odenton, Maryland. The series shifts north with Game 3 on Friday, April 26th, with a 7:30pm faceoff at the Middletown Sports Complex. The Titans will also host Game 4, if necessary, on Saturday, April 27th, at 7:00pm. Game 5, if necessary, will be Sunday, April 28th, at 5:10pm back in Maryland. Tickets to the Titans' home games can be purchased by following this link.

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