The Maryland Black Bears are in tune-up mode after clinching the fourth and final playoff spot in the North American Hockey League’s East Division. The team will take on the top-seeded Johnstown Tomahawks starting Friday, May 21st in Johnstown in a best-of-five series for round one of the Robertson Cup Playoffs. Before that, they have one final regular-season series at home against the Northeast Generals. Game one went in favor of the Black Bears, who topped the Generals 4-2 with Luke Mountain scoring twice in the win.
Forward Tanner Rowe struck first for Maryland making it 1-0 on a breakaway goal in the first period. Black Bears’ forward Luke Mountain made it 2-0 in the second period after his pass on an odd-man rush bounced off of a Northeast defenseman’s skate and into the net. Generals’ forward Dylan Schuett scored on a wrist shot to make it 2-1.
In the third period, Maryland forward Hunter McCoy scored on a three-on-one rush to make it 3-1. While David Andreychuk got a goal back for Northeast later in the third to make it 3-2, it would not be enough. Luke Mountain would score on the empty net in the final seconds for the Black Bears to make it a 4-2 final. Maryland goalie Hannes Kollen, who hadn’t started a game since April 9th, helped the Black Bears secure the 24th win of the season.
Maryland and Northeast face off one final time Friday night at Piney Orchard Ice Arena. Puck drop will be at 6:30 PM ET and the game can be streamed on HockeyTV. The Black Bears won’t have another home game until Wednesday, May 26th which will be game three of its playoff series against the Johnstown Tomahawks.