The Maryland Black Bears lost to the Jamestown Rebels, 5-3 Friday night. This is their fifth straight loss as the playoff race in the North American Hockey League’s (NAHL) East Division continues to tighten.
The first period made it clear that this matchup was going to be a physical one. Tensions rose multiple times throughout the period and penalties from both sides ensued. Aden Bruich of the Black Bears was penalized for goalie interference, which resulted in fisticuffs breaking out between the Black Bears and Rebels. Zach Brydges of the Jamestown Rebels scored the lone goal of the period to make it 1-0.
As the second period began, the streak of three unanswered goals for the Rebels continued. Liam Hansson kept the Rebel party rolling with help from Danny Magnuson and Ben Kuzma. Tensions boiled over between Thomas Jarman (Black Bears) and Eric Olson (Rebels) ten minutes into the second. The momentum continued in the Rebels favor as Janis Vizbelis scored with assists from Tyler German and Spencer Cosway. Opportunity finally struck the Black Bears with a power-play goal from the pride of Sweden, Hampus Rydqvist that was assisted by Mikhael Gonchar and Luke Mountain. The second twenty ended with a 3-1, Rebel lead.
The Black Bears’ comeback effort did not waiver in the third period. Jackson Sterrett scored to bring the Black Bears within one, but the Rebels responded quickly to keep the 2-goal lead at 4-2. DMV’s own Reid Leibold kept Black Bear Nation’s hopes alive with a goal of his own to make it 4-3 Rebels. The back and forth continued, yet the Black Bears were unable to find an equalizer. The Rebels converted a late empty-netter to secure the 5-3 victory over the Black Bears.
The second and final game of the series is tomorrow at 7:05 in the Northwest Arena.