The Maryland Black Bears fell to the Johnstown Tomahawks Friday night, 2-3. Two early goals in the first period punctured a hole too fatal to recover from. The East Division rivalry lived up to the hype as tensions heightened and play was physical from start to finish.
The Johnstown Tomahawks wasted no time establishing a 2-0 lead in the first period. Bennett Stockdale scored the first goal of the night with assists from Matthew Doyle and Tristan Poissant. Several minutes later Noah Basarab of the Tomahawks converted their second strike with help from Bennett Stockdale and Liam Whitehouse.
Cooler heads did not prevail in the second period. Johnstown Tomahawks’ goalie David Tomeo committed a tripping penalty that resulted in a Black Bear goal from Reid Leibold. Assistant Captains Luke Mountain and Hampus Rydqvist were given credit for the assists on the power-play goal. The Tomahawks responded less than a minute later with a goal from Noah Basarab. Toward the end of the period, controversy broke out between the two teams, which resulted in unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for each team.
Two minutes into the third period, Liam Whitehouse from the Johnstown Tomahawks was penalized heavily after responding physically to a roughing minor from Cameron Recchi. The penalties from Whitehouse resulted in a goal from Black Bear Forward, Aden Bruich and the Tomahawk lead was cut to 3-2. Unfortunately, time ran out for the Black Bears’ comeback. Even with an extra attack during the final minutes, the Black Bears were unable to find the equalizer.
The Black Bears seek revenge against the Johnstown Tomahawks tomorrow for the final game of the weekend series. Puck drops at 7:00 PM in the 1st Summit Arena.