The fourth seeded Maryland Black Bears returned home to Piney Orchard Ice Arena for its first ever home playoff game in franchise history. Here, they would take on the top seeded Johnstown Tomahawks in game three with the series tied one game a piece in the first round of the Robertson Cup Playoffs. The series is best-of-five with the first team that wins three games advancing to round two. And after falling behind 2-0 in the second period, the Black Bears rallied for a 3-2 win to put Johnstown on the brink of elimination.
The Tomahawks struck first with a goal from forward Brendan Clark, who slide the puck five-hole on Maryland goaltender Hannes Kollen to make it 1-0. Johnstown struck again in the second period on the power play with forward Will Margel scoring to make it 2-0. Hunter McCoy responded for the Black Bears, sending a wrist shot to the top right side past Tomahawks goalie Sam Evola to make it 2-1 after two periods.
Maryland forward Josh Nixon tied the game early in the third period when he batted the puck out of mid air on the power play to make it 2-2. Then with just over three minutes left in the game, Black Bears’ forward Brad McNeil scored his first career post season tally for Maryland, scoring on a wrist shot on the top left side of the net to make it 3-2. And after a few more saves by Black Bears’ goalie Hannes Kollen, Maryland secured a 3-2 win and take a 2-1 series lead.
The Maryland Black Bears can clinch the series Thursday, May 27th at Piney Orchard Ice Arena during game four of the first round series. Puck drop will be at 6:30 PM ET. If Johnstown wins, there will be a game five back in Johnstown on Saturday, May 29th.