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 postseason 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.