The Maryland Black Bears began its final series against East Division rival Johnstown Tomahawks as the North American Hockey League playoffs are right around the corner; however, a slow start held the Black Bears back as the Tomahawks defeated Maryland, 4-2.
Johnstown scored all four of its goals in the first period and that would be the difference. The downfall started with Tomahawks’ forward Carson Grainer scoring from the goal line to make it 1-0. Later that period, defenseman Brenndan Blair tipped home a pass from teammate Max Kouznetsov to make it 2-0. Only 41 seconds later Christian Gorscak capitalized on a two-on-none opportunity to make it 3-0. Johnstown forward Pavel Kharin tapped the puck into an open net after a scramble in front of the goal to make it 4-0.
Maryland did not go down without a fight. The Black Bears got on the board in the second period with Brayden Stannard goal from the bottom of the right faceoff circle to make it 4-1. Forward Cameron Recchi stuffed a rebound goal home later in the frame to make it 4-2. The Black Bears played well down the stretch, unfortunately, Johnstown goalie Alex Tracy held down the fort, making big saves to hold onto the lead for a 4-2 final.
The Black Bears look to get back into the win column Saturday night at 7:00 PM ET at Piney Orchard Ice Arena in the teams’ final meeting against the Johnstown Tomahawks. The night will feature the Anne Arundel Fire Department to close Guns & Hoses Weekend.