26 in 26: New Jersey Titans
September 5, 2019
The 26 in 26 series features a look at all 26 teams in the NAHL for the 2019-20 season, with a new team being highlighted daily, leading all the way up until the start of the regular season. 26 in 26 looks into each NAHL team and will include video interviews with 26 coaches in the NAHL, as they provide fans with their expectations and outlook for the season, including taking a look at their strengths as a team and thoughts on the league. It will also take a look back on last season and how each team fared and what they accomplished.
New Jersey Titans
Head Coach: Craig Doremus (4th Year)
2018-19 record: 31-26-3, 65 pts. (3rd in the East Division)
2018-19 leading scorer: Ryan Naumovski (59 pts.)
2019 Playoffs: Lost to the Johnstown Tomahawks in the East Division Finals, 3 games to 2
2019-20 Division: East
First regular season game: Friday, September 13th @ Maryland Black Bears
Home opener: Friday, October 18th vs. Maine Nordiques
For most of the 2018-19 season, the New Jersey Titans were being overlooked in their division as the Tomahawks and Rebels were the top two teams for the majority of the year. As the months went by, the Titans flew under the radar and quietly finished in third place in the East Division with a record of 31-26-3.
Then the playoffs came and the Titans were matched up against the Jamestown Rebels. The Rebels took the first two games on home ice and held a commanding 2-0 series lead. When the series shifted back to New Jersey, the Titans began their fight back. They won the next three games to win the series and advance to the East Division Finals. Against the Tomahawks, New Jersey took a 2-1 series lead after winning Games 2 and 3, and were one win away from advancing to the Robertson Cup. The Tomahawks won Game 4 and Game 5 to win the series and end the Titans magical playoff run.
“Obviously you want to win as you reflect back and realize how close you were, but then you look back on the success stories with the kids and the individual stories of every player and where they’re going. For us, it’s been more about the excitement of next year. We thought we were a little too young to win last year, we only had four 20-year-olds,” said head coach and general manager Craig Doremus.
“This year we return a lot of veteran players and we think that could be the next step. We’ve added some good pieces here throughout the tender and draft process. We’re really excited about hopefully that playoff experience carrying us forward,” added Doremus.
Coming back this season for the Titans is one of their top scorers from a year ago. Gavin Gulash will return for his third season in the NAHL. Last season, Gulash tallied 26 goals, tying him for ninth in the league. He could be one of the top scoring forwards in the league in 2019-20 and a catalyst for the New Jersey offense.
Michael Outzen and Mitch Machlitt also return as top six forwards for the Titans. Machlitt lit the lamp 13 times and finished with 33 points good for 5th on the team. Outzen found the back of the net 14 times and ended his season with 31 points which ranked 6th on New Jersey.
The time is now for the New Jersey Titans. With a number of veterans returning, they are primed for a deep playoff run. After getting a taste of playoff success a year ago, the team is even hungrier to get to the Robertson Cup.
Mac Wiseman and Danny Dimon return along the blue line to give them a nice veteran tandem. Wiseman potted four goals and 10 assists in 53 games played. Dimon appeared in 39 games for the Titans while finding the back of the net once and adding six assists.
“We’re really happy, we think we have a deep team, we think we have a really talented team and we have a veteran team. We’ll add some younger players we’re excited for. I think for us, the goal now becomes taking that step and getting to the Robertson Cup and we’d really like to surpass 15 or 16 NCAA Division I commitments this year. We have some goals in mind we’d like to achieve and now it’s about getting to work,” said Doremus.
Next up: New Mexico Ice Wolves