The Maryland Black Bears entered April, the final full month of the regular season, in the fourth and final playoff spot of the North American Hockey League’s East Division. With two teams, the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks and Northeast Generals, hot on Maryland’s tail, the Black Bears looked to secure another two points against division rival New Jersey Titans. And they did just that, with Hannes Kollen leading the Black Bears to a 4-0 win. This is Maryland’s first shutout victory of the season.
The Black Bears struck just under eight minutes into the game with defenseman Jack Hillman getting on the board. Maryland forward Hunter McCoy put the puck on goal and the rebound went to the top of the near circle for Jack Hillman to pick the puck up and shoot it past New Jersey goalie Christian Stoever to make it 1-0. The Black Bears scored again when forward Connor Cole received a pass in the slot from teammate Garrett Szydlowski and lifted the puck into the net for a 2-0 lead.
Maryland then struck on the power play when forward Josh Nixon pounced on a loose puck in the slot to make it 3-0. The Black Bears concluded its goal-scoring with a wrist shot goal from defenseman Philip Tornqvist from the top of the far circle. The shot beat Stoever low blocker side to make it 4-0 Maryland. The goal was Tornqvist’s first as a Black Bear. Maryland held onto this lead for a 4-0 win.
The Maryland Black Bears return to the ice tomorrow as they venture up to New Jersey to rematch the Titans with a 7:00 PM ET puck drop. The Black Bears return home to Piney Orchard Ice Arena on Friday, April 16th against the Northeast Generals. All games can be streamed on HockeyTV.