The Maryland Black Bears lost in overtime to the Johnstown Tomahawks Saturday night, 4-5.
In what was a highly intensive and emotional matchup, the first period was all Tomahawks. Spencer DenBeste scored with assists from Tristan Poissant and Christian Gorscak to open up a 1-0, Johnstown lead. Less than five minutes later, former Black Bear, Quinn Warmuth extended the lead to 2-0 and then celebrated by shouting at the Black Bears bench. The Black Bears were unable to convert on any of their six shots on goal during the first, which ended with a 2-0, Tomahawk lead.
Tensions continued to rise as players left for their respective locker rooms after the first twenty minutes. Emotions escalated early in the second period. Johnstown’s Captain Chris Trouba was hit hard into the boards, which resulted in Black Bears Forward, Cameron Recchi, getting excused for the rest of the contest. Trouba was unable to leave the ice under his own power and required a stretcher and medical staff to escort him off the ice. The Maryland Black Bears send their best and wish for a speedy recovery to Tomahawks Captain. The second period ended with Max Kouznetsov of Johnstown scoring with an assist from Bennett Stockdale to extend their lead to 3-0.
The contest was looking bleak for the Black Bears as they faced a three-goal deficit with only one period to play; however, a Jude Kurtas goal, which was assisted by Wilmer Skoog and Hampus Rydqvist, ignited the Black Bears comeback effort. Moments later, Wilmer Skoog scored with help from Jude Kurtas and Hampus Rydqvist to bring the Black Bears within one goal. Seconds later, Skoog lit the lamp again off another power-play goal and another Rydqvist assist. The Black Bears had stormed back to tie it up, 3-3. The comeback surge was continued by a goal from Jackson Sterrett with assists from Andrew Remer and Rydqvist. The comeback was complete and the Black Bears had taken a 4-3 lead.
Déjà vu struck again for the Black Bears late. Pavel Kharin scored for the Tomahawks with less than two minutes to go in the third period. The goal forced overtime and swayed momentum in their favor. Less than a minute into free hockey, Christian Gorscak scored and secured the victory for the Johnstown Tomahawks.
The Maryland Black Bears return home next weekend to play the New Jersey Titans on Friday (7:00 PM, 11/29) and Saturday (7:00 PM, 11/30).