Wednesday afternoon the Black Bears and Lincoln Stars of the USHL agreed to terms on a trade sending right-handed defenseman Anthony Mollica to Lincoln in exchange for left-handed defensemen Mikhail Gonchar. Mollica has been a productive player on defense for the Black Bears and has been one of their more reliable shooters from the point. This season, Mollica has tallied 3 goals, 4 assists, and a plus-minus of +2. The two players are similar in size, both standing around 6’3 and 190 lbs.
The Black Bears newest player, Mikhail Gonchar, has a familiar name around the D.C. area. He is the nephew of former longtime NHL player and Washington Capital, Sergei Gonchar. Born in Russia, Mikhail came to the States in the 2017-2018 season and joined the Pittsburgh Penguins U18 club where he spent two seasons before heading north to Shattuck St. Mary’s. Gonchar was drafted 124th overall in the USHL Entry Draft this spring, and he has posted 1 goal, 1 assist, and a plus-minus of -5 in his 17 games played with the Lincoln Stars. He is known for using his size to his advantage and has been praised by former coaches and scouts for his toughness. Gonchar will make his debut with the Black Bears this weekend and will be wearing #9.
Head Coach and General Manager of the Black Bears, Clint Mylymok had the following to say about the transaction:
“We would like to thank Anthony (Mollica) for his effort and time he put in, while with the Maryland Black Bears,” said Coach Mylymok. ”We wish him all the best in the USHL with Lincoln. It is a great opportunity for him. We look forward to adding Mikhail (Gonchar) to our lineup for this weekend. He is a big, mobile, defenseman that brings us another left-handed shot to our back-end. He has very good skills and skates very well for a big man. We are excited to add him to the team.”