The Maryland Black Bears took the ice against the East Division leading Johnstown Tomahawks looking for its first win at Piney Orchard Ice Arena. And thanks to a late goal by Connor Pooley and a big save by David Tomeo as the seconds ticked down, Maryland was able to accomplish this with a thrilling 3-2 lead. And a packed house was able to witness history.
“The fans have been great,” Black Bears’ Head Coach Clint Mylymok said of the crowd, “It’s a nice atmosphere to play in. It really keeps the guys energized and I thought we did a good job of using that to our advantage.”
Samuel Solensky got the scoring started for Johnstown, cashing in on a power play to make it 1-0. Maryland got its response from Connor Pooley, scoring the first of his two goals on the back hand that squeaked pasting Tomahawks goalie Kade Phipps to tie the game 1-1.
The first goal of the second period was marred in controversy. Maryland forward Daylon Mannon banked the puck from behind the goal line off of Phipps and it appeared to cross the goal line but the referees waved it off after talking. As the puck was about to drop another referee meeting took place, overturning the no goal call and rewarding a 2-1 lead to the Black Bears. The Tomahawks responded with another goal from Solensky to tie the game at two.
Black Bears’ goalie David Tomeo and Tomahawks goalie Kade Phipps stole the show in the third, making big saves for their respective teams to keep the score 2-2. Late in the third Johnstown’s Carson Biere took a tripping penalty to give Maryland a chance to take the lead. It was Connor Pooley once more burying the shot from Joseph Mancuso to give the Black Bears a 3-2 lead.
“He has no quit in him,” Coach Mylymok said on Pooley’s play, “He’s the guy that’s going to get goals because he goes to the hard areas with enthusiasm.”
David Tomeo then saved the day one final time, shuffling across the crease to make a pad save with less than ten seconds left, and Maryland secured its first win at home in franchise history.
Maryland and Johnstown take the ice one more time Saturday night 7:45 P.M ET at Piney Orchard Ice Arena for game two of the two game series.