The top two teams in the North American Hockey League’s East Division, the New Jersey Titans and Maryland Black Bears, squared off Friday night at Piney Orchard Ice Arena in a battle for points in the standings. The Titans lead the Black Bears in the standings by three points for first in the division. After 60 minutes of highlight-reel goals and big hits wasn’t enough, it was New Jersey forward Nick Ring scoring the overtime-winning goal to get the Titans a 4-3 win.
The Black Bears got the scoring started with a goal from newly acquired defenseman Jack Blanchett to make it 1-0. Blanchett pinched in from the near point and took a wrist shot that found the back of the net for his first goal as a member of the Black Bears. New Jersey took the lead in the second period with goals from forwards Anthony Calafiore and Stephen Willey to make it 2-1 Titans after 40.
The lead would change multiple times to start the third period in a wild series of events. It started with Maryland forward Ryan Bottrill weaving through three New Jersey players and following up on his own rebound twice before scoring on his third attempt to tie the game 2-2. Black Bears’ forward Tyler Young followed less than three minutes later with a dazzling goal of his own, putting the puck between the Titans’ defenseman’s legs and scoring top right side to give Maryland a 3-2 lead. This lead would only last for 20 seconds before New Jersey forward Ryan Coughlin tied the game up 3-3 on a breakaway. The score would hold as 3-3 and the game needed overtime, where Titan’s forward Nick Ring scored on a backhand to forehand move to win the game for New Jersey 4-3. The Titans increase its lead on the Black Bears for first in the division to four with the overtime win.
Maryland and New Jersey rematch Saturday night at Piney Orchard Ice Arena with puck drop set for 7:00 PM ET. The game can be streamed on HockeyTV.