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Top Line Lights It Up for the 14U New Jersey Titans

By Russell Jaslow - Special to, 04/04/14, 10:15PM MDT


AMHERST, N.Y. -- The New Jersey Titans might be getting a bill from the Northtown Center at Amherst to help with the electric bill for the number of times they’ve turned the red light on through three days at the Toyota-USA Hockey Tier II Girls National Championships.

In the 14-and-Under pool play, the Titans scored 24 times in three games, winning them all.

Blame the electric surge on their top line of Rebecca Foggia, Brianna Haviland and Jesse DeVito. They have scored 20 of the team’s goals en route to being three of the top five leading scorers in the 14U group.

“They’re super talented, dynamic group of players,” New Jersey coach Matt Kiernan said. “Each player has something that they do very, very well, but they are well rounded. They can do anything. They can all pass. They can all shoot. They can all skate. They can all handle the puck really, really well. We lean on them a lot for goals, and they always deliver for us. We’re going to need them as we get further in this tournament, and we’re sure they’ll deliver for us.”

Foggia has been especially guilty for the arena’s extra wattage, scoring nine times and assisting on five others for 14 points.

“She’s a pure goal scorer,” Kiernan said. “She wants the puck on her stick. She wants to make the big plays. And time and time again she keeps on doing it.”

Haviland (6 goals, 5 assists) and DeVito (5-6) each have 11 points.

What about defense? Do they have enough as they go deeper into the tournament? New Jersey did notch two shutouts, 10-0 over the Lady Vipers from Florida and 8-0 over host Amherst Knights, but the Titans also won a wild 6-5 game over the Kensington Valley Ravens.

Plus, there were two other teams that will have to share in paying the higher electric bill — the Cape Cod Storm, who have scored 26 times, and the Pittsburgh Predators, with 21 goals.

“I think so,” Kiernan said. “We play a short bench. They have a lot more depth than we do. But we like to play a puck possession game, which makes it easier for us to play on defense. We hope to continue that against those types of teams.”

Speaking of Cape Cod, the team’s leading scorer, McKenzie Haberl (9-5--14), is tied with Foggia for the 14U lead in all offensive categories, and Carolina Peterson also has 11 points with four goals.

“They both have motors that never quit,” Cape Cod coach Tom Peterson said. “They’re tenacious. They’re good with the puck. They know how to get to the dirty areas and score those big goals. It doesn’t hurt they’ve been playing together for six years.”

Peterson is confident his defense can slow down the opponents’ offenses.

“Definitely,” he said. “We’ve been really strong defensively all year. We have two good goalies. We preach from the net out. We’re more of a defensive team than an offensive team, even though you wouldn’t think that right now. But all year we’ve had about a 1.2 goals-against average and we really pride ourselves on taking care of the puck, not giving up giveaways and doing what it takes to win. Yeah, I think we’ll be fine.”

Kiernan believes his New Jersey team is also up for the challenge.

“I think we’re peaking at the right time,” he said. “I think we started off pretty strong and we’re happy where we are. We’re looking forward to the next round.”

Now that the knockout rounds are starting, the games should start getting tighter. Theoretically.

If the defenses don’t slow down these offenses, there might be some brownouts in the town of Amherst.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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