After a rough 4-2 loss, the Maryland Black Bears looked to bounce against East Division rival New Jersey Titans. And thanks to a three goal first period, Maryland prevailed with a 4-3 nail biting win.
The scoring started with a deflection from Black Bears’ forward Jake Sujishi just 1:42 into the game. Max Borst won a board battle and found a passing lane to Luc Salem, who shot the puck on goal that deflected off of Sujishi to make it 1-0. Just over a minute later, George Vonakis recorded his first goal as a member of the Maryland Black Bears to make it 2-0. Vonakis put the puck in off a rebound as he fell down while Titans’ goalie Brandon Perrone was looking the other way. Maryland forward Luke Mountain made it 3-0 with a wrist shot over the glove of Perrone midway through the first.
The New Jersey Titans responded with the first two goals of the second period in similar fashion. New Jersey forwards Chris Garbe and Zach Nazzarett both found rebounds that went off of the pads of Maryland goalie Anthony Del Tufo, and it was 3-2 in the blink of an eye. Max Borst was able to increase Maryland’s lead back to two on a two on one rush, beating Perrone low blocker side. The second period concluded with Black Bears’ defender Luc Salem receiving a five minute major for hitting from behind. The Titans also received a two minute bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct, negating two minutes of the five minute major.
New Jersey forward Kyle Jeffers scored the lone goal of the third period to make it 4-3. Jeffers was able to get open in the slot and put a shot top glove side on Del Tufo while the Titans were on the power play. New Jersey made a late game effort to tie, but two big saves by Anthony Del Tufo helped seal the win.
The Black Bears return to action on the road Friday, February 8th as they begin a three game series with the Johnstown Tomahawks. Maryland then will return home for ten straight home games, starting Friday February 15th as the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights come to Piney Orchard Ice Arena with puck drop at 7:45 PM ET.