The Maryland Black Bears lost to the New Jersey Titans, 6-4, Friday night. The high-scoring event featured a Titan team that kept pushing the envelope despite numerous attempts from the Black Bears to comeback. A slow first period ended up being the difference for Maryland in the loss.
Even with the Black Bears outshooting the Titans 13-7 in the first period, New Jersey was able to convert two of shots attempts for goals. The Titans wasted no time to set the tone, within seconds the Black Bears were in a 1-0 hole after Cam Gendron scored with assists from Matthew Iasnza and Daniel Dimon. The final goal of the period came from Gavin Gulash off an assist from Joe Nagle. New Jersey established a 2-0 lead as both teams headed for their locker room.
At first, the momentum stayed with New Jersey in the second period. Tyler Nasca found the back of the net with help from Kyler Head and Brad Zona within the first minute to give the Titans three unanswered goals. Aaron ‘I’m not Ron’ Swanson gave the Black Bears life with his first goal with the franchise. Fellow linemate Jackson Sterrett and Garrett Szydlowski were there for the assists. Luke Mountain followed with a goal of his own to continue the comeback with assists from Reid Leibold and Cameron Recchi. The Black Bears then wiped the slate clean to make it 3-3 as Garrett Szydlowski lit the lamp with setups from Mikhael Gonchar and Aaron Swanson. Cam Gendron from New Jersey broke the Maryland goal streak and gave the Titans a 4-3 lead to end the period.
It was all smiles for the Black Bears to start the third period. Jack Smiley got his first career goal as a Black Bear thanks to Andrew Remer and Hunter Brackett. The equalizer would be the last strike for the Black Bears. Cam Gendron completed a hat trick to give the Titans a 5-4 lead toward the middle of the period. Finally, Chris Garbe converted an empty-netter to lock in a victory for the New Jersey Titans.
The Black Bears will play the second and final game of the series against the New Jersey Titans tomorrow at 7:00 PM in the Middletown Ice World Arena.