Titan Team News


NJ Jr. Titans ’95s vs. Valley Forge Minutemen

Saturday Sept. 13, 2008 at WSA 11:00am

Welcome to the NJ Jr. Titans Bantam Minor home game. We want to build on the momentum created by our 15-1 drubbing of Suffolk PAL last Sunday. We play a very comfortable sytle here at WSA and we hope to continue it against Valley Forge this morning. It’s a big game for us – we want to even our League and District record at 1-1 before we host the perennially tough Long Island Royals tomorrow. Today’s opponent, the Minutemen know we took a beating last Saturday vs. the Jr. Flyers and they are chomping at the bit to secure a District road victory. The Minutemen are well-coached and have a quality team with plenty of speed and solid goaltending. Our boys will have their hands full – we expect a physical game today from the Minutemen.

The coaching staff felt we had a good week of practice – we benefitted from 2 solo practices due to the ’94 trip to Syracuse. We were able to tighten up our Defensive Zone coverage thru our new favorite drill called the “Russian Paradox” (a staple of our Atlantic District training). We spent the bulk of our week doing “battle” drills and initiating contact – The coaching staff felt we played the Jr. Flyers too soft last weekend, especially their skill players. We have to get back to our Titan style of play this morning against Valley Forge – being home at WSA should help.

The friendly confines of WSA certainly helped us in our thrashing of Suffolk. Everyone contributed to the scoresheet. We received 8 goals from Defenseman – with that type of balance our offense can be dangerous. Our boys were very respectful (meaning no laughing or boisterous celebrations) so I simply didn’t hold them back. It was an absolute joy to watch their skill level and creative offensive production. I think Coach Vico is in for an awakening if he thinks that’s the type of game he’ll see every time he helps out on the bench…LOL

Your ’95s expect to make the most of our two home games this weekend. The boys continue to work hard – they’ve been impressive in their handling of Coach Walker’s intense style as he “barks” out orders during practice. This ’95 group is a proud bunch and they want to compete and do well for you – we hope their hard work pays off with good results this weekend.

NJ Jr. Titans U16 National vs. NJ Avalanche

Friday Sept. 12, 2008 at WSA 8:30pm

Welcome to the NJ Jr. Titans U16 version of “Friday Night Lights”. We’re hosting a very good NJ Avalanche team tonight as we look to avenge our 3-0 loss to them last Saturday night. We have prepared hard this week at practice to turn the tables on them and claim our first League victory of the season. The Avalanche have started the season 1-2 with losses to both the NJ Colonials and the Philadelphia Little Flyers. They boast most of the top ’93s in the Atlantic District Development Program and they clearly benefit from one of the District’s top coaches, JJ Picnic – who was himself one of the top District players in his day with the Ramapo Saints before his career at Providence College.

Your NJ Titans U16s have hit an 0-3 bump to start their Regular season after a 2-3 tournament record Labor Day Weekend. We’re still feeling the sting of Evan Hughes’ injury (broken collarbone) and this week’s defection of another forward to an independent Jr. B team. The coaching staff is looking to the leadership core of the team to embrace a foxhole mentality as we attempt to shake off the early season rust. The coaching staff has sensed that the players confidence is a little fragile at this early stage of the Regular season and has taken steps this week in practice to instill a focus on short term improvement. This week’s practice emphasis was correcting flaws in our Defensive zone coverage and implementing details of our in-zone Power Play system.

Another busy weekend is ahead for the U16s – The Avalanche tonight, then two tough road games at the NJ Colonials (Saturday) and the Little Flyers (Sunday). Coach Walker and Coach Berzolla continue to be impressed with the team’s work ethic and commitment to learning – we constantly reinforce the need for accountability to your teammates and the importance of believing in each other. It’s been a challenge so far given the early season losses we’ve experienced, but we believe we can turn our record around quickly with some more hard work. We expect our boys to bounce back with three solid efforts this weekend and we have no doubt our record will soon reflect the team’s work ethic.

The key to tonight’s game is a strong forecheck in order to create offensive chances. Our skilled players will need to focus on taking quality shots rather than making the “extra” pass. We have the speed to match the Avalanche, we’ll have to contain their quick forwards down low in order to counter-attack in transition. Special teams will certainly factor into tonight’s game which usually happens when two rivals play twice within the same week. Expect to see a motivated, gritty squad this evening.

THANKS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT

Welcome to the NJ Jr. Titans Bantam Minor home opener. We kick-off the 2008-2009 season with a non-League game versus our nemesis from Long Island – Suffolk PAL. Expect both Suffolk and the Jr.Titans to establish a physical game which should carry over to their regular season match-ups. Your Jr. Titans are fresh of a stinging 5-1 loss to the Jr. Flyers yesterday in West Chester, PA. The coaching staff is looking for these young men to bounce back today with a solid effort in front of our home crowd. The boys are anxious to get back to the winning atmosphere created at the Mass. Outlaws tournament two weeks ago.

Our 4-game “ho-hum” pre-season tournament in Marlboro,MA turned into a grueling six-game experience culminating in a Silver medal by our under-manned squad. We split Day one of the tournament – soundly beating the GBL Bruins and losing to the improved Dual State Huskies. Day two saw us sweep our remaining round robin games setting up a re-match with the Dual State Huskies on Sunday morning. Your ’95 Jr. Titans totally dominated the Dual State Huskies in the semi-final jumping out to a 3-0 lead, then hanging on for a 4-2 win. Fatigue finally caught up to our boys in the Finals as we fell to our in-state League rival Mercer Chiefs 3-1. It was nothing short of a valiant effort by our boys as we finished the tournament with only eleven players (including Ryan Strapp who was sick all weekend but still played well). Our veteran defense was outstanding all weekend, obviously aided by timely goals from our 7 forwards. Of course, our berth in the Finals could not have been possible without solid goaltending from George Blinick and Chris D’Alessio.

Turning to yesterday’s League opening 5-1 loss, the coaching staff chooses to believe it was an aberration. After the first 6-7 minutes we just looked out-of-sync in our own zone. The boys seemed mesmerized by the speed of the Jr. Flyers and we blew Defensive zone coverages on the 2nd and 3rd goals. These types of defensive zone breakdowns were not evident in Marlboro nor in any of the system practices so far. The boys are aware of the cause of the breakdowns and are committed to correcting these coverages this afternoon. Coach Walker and Coach Haviland have been impressed with the team’s work ethic and commitment to learning the details of our systems. The coaching staff has asked this year’s team (and specifically our veteran leadership group) to conform to a strict set of concepts and take on additional responsibility outside their comfort zone. This ’95 group is still getting used to Coach Walker’s gruff style and demand for accountability to each other – the coaching staff has no doubt our ’95s are on the right path of progression – we look for this elite group to contribute to our Bantam & Midget programs for years to come.

Your ’95s expect to close out the weekend with a solid home effort. We’ll then get back to school and practice as we prepare for next weekend’s busy schedule. Expect to see a motivated, gritty squad this afternoon.

THANKS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT

At One Hockey this week, the Team NJ Bantam 94 and 95 teams comprised mostly of Titans met some challenging competition from all over the world. The 95s are 2-2 beating PA and Mass teams, but falling to Germany 6-2 and getting shut out by an incredible LA Select squad who have scored 26 goals and given up none for the tournament.

Michael Ludwig and Chris Miller stared in the 5-2 win over PA with George Blinick making 16 saves in the win. Their other victory was a 6-3 victory over Team Mass. Stephen East took the first star for 11 saves. Connor Grogan had a hat trick and took the 3rd star.

After dropping game 1 to a great Minnesota squad, the 94s have won 3 straight. In their second contest, they rolled over last year’s champs, the US All Stars 5-2 with great goaltending by Anthony Stolarz and 4 second period goals by Alex Soviero, Justin Canzano, Nick Sapporito, and Tom Caccia, who added another in the 3rd. They followed that with a win against Team Pennsylvania 6-2. Billy Regan started the scoring, followed by a shorthanded goal by Caccia, then Dan O’Keefe. Matt Martin and Soviero added 2nd period goals and Michael Kochenash finished up the scoring. Dan O’Keefe and Brandon Paletto were named stars of the game for the Titans. They also beat team Maryland 1-0 and now await the playoffs. Good luck to both teams.

The following Jr Titans Teams will do battle in the Mass Outlaws Classic Tournament. Sqiurt Minor (99 aaa) Squirt Major (98 aaa) Peewee Minor (97aaa) Peewee Major (96 aa) Bantam Minor (95 aaa) over August 22, 23, 24 in Marlbough Mass. @ the New England Sports Center.  The Titan Club has many championship notched in their belt at this pre-season tournament and this year should be no different!!


The next weekend the Bantam Majors (94) u16 93/92 National will battle in the Mass Selects Tournaments. The u18 team and u16 American team have been placed on their waiting list.

The Junior Titans sent 6 teams to different tournaments over the Memorial Day weekend.  Three went to the Philly shoot out in Ice-line for the AAA Division and 3 went to Aston AA tournament. Our 95 Titans went to finalist the Philly shoot out only to lose to the Conn. Yankees 5-4.  Our bantam AA team went to the semis at Aston and lost to AC sharks and our Titan squirts went to finals at Aston and lost to team Philadelphia. This was a great weekend of hockey saw great competition all weekend at all levels. I was there had a chance to coach all our guys they play spirited hockey for this time of the year. Our next tournament is “OneHockey” starting at the end of June. We will be fielding teams at 99, 97, 96, 95, 94, 92 levels.

95 Titans play in finals at Philly shoot out

The 95s started the Philly shoot out looking to win the whole tourney. Coach Clifton had the guys ready and fully understanding the goal was to win the tournament. The boys started with a 3-2 win over Valley Forge selects with Matt Marabeti leading the charge with a goal and asst.  Goaltending was good from both George Blinick and Thomas Weidman.  In the second game we lost to the Conn. Yankees 5-4.  Great game had lead blew a 2 goal lead in middle of second and could not recover. The 3rd game saw us rebound strongly and beat the Long Island selects 14-0.   Marabeti had a 3 point game as well Conner Clifton had a pair of goals. So we were set for Monday’s cross over. Coach Clifton and coach Havilland met to discuss the plan on how to beat the rival Jr. Flyers and the plan worked. We won 2-1. Conner Clifton scored a huge unassisted goal to tie the game in third period and the winning goal was scored by Anthony Deangelo.  So the stage was set for the Titans to get even with their lost against the Conn. Yankees in the finals. It was a great game with a lot of hard hitting and great goaltending by both goalies in the end Titans lost 5-4 to Yankees.  The Titans where lead on Monday by Zach Diamontoni having a 3 point after noon. George Blinick was outstanding in goal. Both coach Haviland and coach Clifton were disappointed with the outcome but pleased with the effort the Titans showed. We will re-focus the players for the next challenge One Hockey.  The schedule there is unbelievable Germany, California, Ohio, yes I said Germany oh boy!

 

Great showing as Titan Squirts play in finals in Aston

There is a saying in hockey “less is more” oh boy this so true for the group of Titan Squirt players. We played all weekend with 9 skaters and 2 goalies. We won the first game 6-2 newcomer Cody Ligori posted 2 goals in this game while Steven Saporito was outstanding getting 3 points in the game as well as Corey Clifton and James Marabeti played well against the Reston raiders.  Our second game was won 7-4.  Colin Hurley and Zach Turcotee had huge games.  “I was most impressed with the play of those 2 guys all weekend”, Coach Haviland was heard saying in the third.  The 3rd game was an 8-5 win. Trevor Cear and Alex Phillipps lead the way providing a lot of offense and great defense vs. the Staten Island Rangers.  In the semis we played the Ashburn express from Virginia new comer Noah Maikisch was awesome in goal and we prevailed to win a nail biter. The finals saw Spencer Rue give us a chance to come back as he made a number of saves to keep the score close. We where down 5-2.  With 9 minutes to go in the 3rd period Coach Haviland called a time out and told the boys “You have 2 choices.  You can pack it in and go home now and be happy with the weekend or we can fight back like Titans and go for it.”  We went for it and scored 2 goals in 4 minutes to pull it within one goal.  With our net empty we had a number of chances but could not get the tying goal. Coach Haviland was very happy with the great effort showed by the boys this weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Jr. Titan Mites completed their season this week at the March Madness Tournament held at Iceland.  As with last week, the Titans opened against an inferior foe and easily dominated the Mercer Chiefs en route to a 6-0 win.  Danny Kerber, Trevor Cear, Connor Tuzeneu, and James Waiter each had two points in the Thursday night contest.

The Titans returned to Iceland early Saturday morning to play the Lawrence Flames.  The Titans had a very rough start and found themselves trailing 4-0 early in the second period before mounting a comeback.  The Titans roared back, closing the gap to 5-4 early in the third period, before falling 7-4.  In the end it was penalties and lack of team play that doomed the comeback effort.  Alex Phipps led the team with two goals.

Immediately following the Flames game, the Titans entered the skills competition where the team of Kurt Yamen, Ian Huggan, Tuzeneu, and Cear came back from third place after three legs to win the relay race at the line.  The team of Phipps, Sean Mylod, Jonathan Delaglio, and Ryan Damelio finished second in the stickhandling relay race.  Michael Florentine finished second in shootout goaltending.  A great job and a fun time were had by all.

The Titans returned to Iceland Saturday afternoon needing a win against the Princeton Tigers to advance to Sunday’s final against the Flames.  The Titans started slowly again and were trailing 2-1 after one period of play.  They refused to give up stormed into the lead with four second period goals to take a 5-3 lead and added two in the third to provide the final 7-3 margin.  Each of the team’s four leading scorers, James Waiter, Cear, Phipps, and Will Lemonie, scored in the game with Cear dominating with four goals.  Danny Kerber chipped in with the first playmaker (three assists) of his career.

Sunday’s final featured an intense rematch of the Saturday morning game of the Titans vs. the Flames.  Both teams played very well throughout, but the Flames opened up the scoring in the first period.  Cear evened the score in the second, but the Titans again gave up the go-ahead goal on a power play before the end of the second.  In between the second and third periods, Coach Kerber reminded the players of that they had come back from the same deficit at the same point in the game to win the championship at Wall Sports Arena the week before.  It didn’t take long for Cear to strike again to even the score and make it a 10-minute game.  The winning goal was scored by Lemonie, who crashed the net and got to Waiter’s rebound before the Flames defense, with approximately four and a half minutes to go.  Florentine was very good in between the pipes for the Titans in only giving up a breakaway and a power play goal in the contest.

  Thank you to all the players and parents, to my assistants John Huggan and Tom Heiser, and especially to our team manager, Kristine Huggan, for a thoroughly enjoyable season.  Each and every one of you players has shown tremendous improvement since this summer.  I look forward to seeing you all at our end-of-season party and then again in a few weeks at tryouts.

-Coach

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