Also skating out of Piney Orchard Ice Arena, Team Maryland EHL of the Eastern Hockey League is the direct affiliate of the Maryland Black Bears. Competing at the Tier 3 level, just one below the Black Bears, Team Maryland’s EHL players hail from all over the Northeast, competing to impress NCAA Division III scouts or climb the ladder to the NAHL.
Similar to the Black Bears, Team Maryland’s EHL players relocate the area for the season and live with host families where a 60-game schedule and daily practice and workouts comsume players’ days. Most EHL teams don’t have a “big brother” in the same rink like the Black Bears. Housing both NAHL and EHL teams in the same facility with the same ownership group creates synergies for both players and coaches. Team Maryland EHL players gain exposure to NAHL coaching staff on a daily basis as the two clubs practice back-to-back and also share the gym and locker facilities. “It’s a unique opportunity for the EHL players,” said Black Bears Head Coach Clint Mylymok. “We have a development pipeline in the same building allowing us to essentially ‘call-up’ players for games and practices to give them reps. I’ve invited a few of the top EHL players to Black Bears practices and let them showcase their play at a higher level. We’re always evaluating and looking for ways to make both teams better.”
This week, Maryland EHL goalie, Chris Foley, and forwards, Luke Farinacci and Mac Brice, were given the opportunity to practice time with the Black Bears. “They earned it,” said Coach Mylymok after practice Tuesday. “The EHL guys are very hard workers and will get rewarded with NAHL practices and games.”
Check out video below of EHL players skating with the Black Bears.