The Maryland Black Bears traveled over nine hours via bus to Lewiston, Maine for its first-ever game against the newest member to the North American Hockey League’s East Division in the Maine Nordiques. And in the back and forth high-speed contest, it was the Black Bears coming away with the win by a score of 3-1.
After a fast pace but scoreless first period, Jackson Sterrett opened up the scoring for Maryland with a five on three shorthanded goal. Sterrett capitalized on a turnover and whistled a wrist shot to the top right corner of the net for the 1-0 lead. This was Sterrett’s third shorthanded goal of the season. However, Maine responded 55 seconds later with a goal from forward Trent Grimshaw. Grimshaw capitalized when a puck initially stopped by Black Bears’ goalie Andrew Takacs came right to Grimshaw in the slot for the tap in and a 1-1 tie. Maryland was able to respond with a powerplay goal of its own when Aden Bruich found a loose puck behind Maine’s goalie Marco Duronio. He poked it across the goal line for the 2-1 Black Bears lead.
Maryland increased its lead in the third period with a goal from Reid Leibold. Leibold cut in between the faceoff circles and let a shot go top right side of the net past the screen set by teammate Aden Bruich for a 3-1 lead. That score would hold up to be the final as Maryland secured win number 11 on the season.
The Black Bears and Nordiques will face-off in game two of a three-game series tomorrow night at Androscoggin Bank Colisee with a puck drop time of 7:00 PM ET. The series concludes Sunday at the same venue with a 2:00 PM ET puck drop with both games streamed on HockeyTV.