The Johnstown Tomahawks continue its dominance over the East Division and picked up its tenth straight win over the Maryland Black Bears with a 5-3 win. Despite trailing 3-0, the Black Bears were able to fight back and cut the deficit to one, but could not complete the job.
Johnstown started by scoring three goals in one minute in the first period. Tomahawks’ forward Oliver Benwell started the scoring spree off on the power play, tipping Hunter Toale’s shot off the pad of Maryland goalie David Tomeo, and putting it home on the rebound to make it 1-0. Colin Price then made it 2-0 Johnstown, burying a pass from Bennett Stockdale on a two-on-one pass twenty two seconds later. Then 39 seconds later it was Oliver Benwell again, firing a wrist shot top right side past Tomeo to make it 3-0. Max Borst cut into the lead for the Black Bears, tapping home a pass from George Vonakis to make it 3-1.
The second period saw a short handed goal for Maryland make it 3-2. Max Borst stole the puck from the Tomahawks and went in on a breakaway, and shot the puck past the right side of Johnstown goalie Cooper Lukenda. Colin Price responded for the Tomahawks, tapping the puck in close range to make it 4-2. The Black Bears responded with a goal from Daylon Mannon, who tapped the puck in after it squeaked by Lukenda to make it 4-3.
Maryland had a chance to tie the game on an extended power play. Johnstown defender Hunter Toale took a five minute major for head contact, then forward Mitchell Hale took a two minute tripping minor. It rewarded the Black Bears with two minutes of a five-on-three power play, with three additional minutes of a five-on-four power play. The Tomahawks weathered the storm and killed off the penalties.
The game ended with Oliver Benwell completing the hat trick with an empty net goal, making the final 5-3. Maryland looks to end the losing streak against Johnstown in the two teams’ final meeting of the season Saturday, February 23rd. Puck drop is at 7:45 P.M. ET at Piney Orchard Ice Arena as the Black Bears celebrate Military Appreciation Night.