The Maryland Black Bears eyed its first franchise win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, as well as two points in the quest to reach the postseason. But the Knights had other plans, using a strong third period to put away the Black Bears for the sixth consecutive time with a 4-2 win.
Maryland got the start it wanted, as Jack Rudin put home his fourth goal of the season to make it 1-0 in the opening minutes. Black Bears’ forward Max Borst started the play with a blocked shot and a breakaway attempt. His initial shot was stopped by Knights’ goalie Zach Stejskal, but Jack Rudin followed up for the rebound and put it under Stejskal’s blocker.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton took control from there and scored the next three goals. In the second period, Knights’ forward Jake Fuss put home a rebound on the power play to tie the game 1-1. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton then got off to a hot start in the third with two goals in the first few minutes. Knights’ defender Davis Pennington scored Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s second power play goal of the game on a point shot that went between the legs of Maryland goalie Anthony Del Tufo to make it 2-1. Less than a minute later, it was Knights’ forward John Kaljian putting the puck past Del Tufo as he skated into the zone to make it 3-1.
The Black Bears made it interesting, as Johnathan Young finished off a nice passing play and picked the top left corner on Stejskal to make it 3-2 with 20.5 seconds left. However, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton forward Adrian Danchenko ended the game with an empty net goal to make the final score 4-2. Anthony Del Tufo made 26 saves for Maryland, while Zach Stejskal made 29 saves for his 17th win of the season for the Knights.
The Black Bears return home Friday, February 22nd at 7:45 P.M. ET against the East Division leader Johnstown Tomahawks at Piney Orchard Ice Arena.