The Maryland Black Bears eyed their fifth straight win and first home sweep since late January last season. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights gave the Black Bears a run in a game that saw three fights and four total ejections. In the end, it was Maryland that stood tall with a 5-1 win.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights struck first with a deflection goal on the power play from Artur Turansky. Knights’ forward Lincoln Hatten shot the puck from the point where Turansky redirected the puck past Maryland goalie Andrew Takacs and in for a 1-0 lead. It was the only goal Wilkes-Barre/Scranton would score all series. Maryland defenseman and captain Logan Kons tied the game with a shot from the point that beat Knights’ goalie Alex Contey top right side to make it 1-1. Black Bears’ forward Jude Kurtas made it 2-1 when he scored on a wrap-around goal while on the power play.
The second period had no scoring but saw a sequence that totaled 121 penalty minutes between Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (67) and Maryland (54). There were a total of three fights and three ejections as the teams came together after pushing and shoving escalated late in the period. The tensions carried over into the third period.
The Black Bears began to pull away with a goal from forward Logan Kittleson. Kittleson received a pass from Kyle Oleksiuk and shot the puck five-hole from the high slot to make it 3-1. As the period progressed, the game saw a fourth ejection when Knights’ forward Anthony Mastromonica speared Logan Kittleson and gave Maryland a five-minute major power play. There, Hampus Rydqvist and Reid Leibold scored goals to cap off a 5-1 win and a sweep of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The sweep is the first at home since January 19th and 20th against the Northeast Generals and the five-game win streak is the longest in franchise history.
Jude Kurtas received third-star honors, Andrew Takacs received second-star, and captain Logan Kons received first-star honors.
Maryland will not see the ice again until the new year when they host the Northeast Generals. Game dates are Friday, January 3rd and Saturday, January 4th with 7:45 PM ET puck drops both days at Piney Orchard Ice Arena.