Abingdon, MD – On a cold and snowy day at Ice World, the Maryland Black Bears dropped the first game of a two game series against the Danbury Hat Tricks. Danbury scored their first goal only two minutes into the game. Michael Morelli made a nice stop on the initial shot by Adam Shuchart, but as he went to freeze the puck, it fell to the ice and Gabe Dombrowski was able to tuck it in for his first goal of the season. Danbury followed with another goal a few minutes later thanks to a nice play by Jason Kleinhans. After taking the puck from a defensive zone face-off that was won by Jake Veri, he turned on the jets to bring the puck past the Maryland defense and into the offensive zone. He lofted a pass right onto the stick of Valentino Passarelli, who was able to fire it into the net to make it a 2-0 game. An unsuccessful Maryland power play brought the period to a close.
The Black Bears were able to pull even on two goals in the second period. Jude Kurtas scored a few minutes into the period. Aden Bruich took a pass from Sean Kilcullen to enter the offensive zone and he was able to feed a great pass to Kurtas, who shot the puck past Josh Seeley for the goal. Maryland was provided with their second power play of the game when Hank McDonaugh was called for holding. The Black Bears got to work on the man advantage, moving the puck around the perimeter. Josh Seeley and the Danbury defense lost sight of the puck after it fell to Garrett Szydlowski. Szydlowski wrapped the puck around and stuck it in the empty net to tie the game. Each team had another opportunity on the power play later on in the period, but to no avail. The teams entered the second intermission knotted at two a piece.
Maryland’s hopes to complete the comeback in the third period were dashed nearly as soon as it began, as a rebound from a shot was knocked in by Valentino Passarelli for his second goal of the game and his fourth of the season. A couple of minutes later, following a disagreement over Luke Mountain crashing the net, Mountain and Danbury’s Adam Shuchart dropped the mitts for a fight. Maryland had several opportunities to tie the game, including a power play and a fortunate bounce off of the end boards that went through the pads of Josh Seeley, but Jack Brackett couldn’t get a stick on it to put it into the open net. Mark D’Agostino cashed in on the empty net with time winding down to officially seal the game.
With the win, Danbury moves to 6-3-0 on the season after earning their first victory since November 5th. The Black Bears fall to 11-6-5 to this point in the year. These teams will do battle at Ice World again on Tuesday with puck drop scheduled for noon Eastern Time.