Heading into tonight’s season-opening game, the Maryland Black Bears were 0-2-1 in its first game of the season. They eyed its first win of the season against the New Jersey Titans, a team they have faced three of the past four years to start its campaign. And thanks to big saves from goaltender Michael Morelli and an offensive outburst in the final minute of the second period, the Black Bears cruised to a 5-0 win.
The scoring didn’t start until 49 seconds left of the second period, where Maryland forward Jacob Brockman found the puck in the high slot and scooped it over New Jersey goalie Owen Hains to make it 1-0. Then just 45 seconds later, Black Bears’ forward Aden Bruich scored off a blocked shot to make it 2-0.
The third period saw goals from two Maryland defenseman in the span of one minute and 47 seconds to make it 4-0. Luke Van Why made it 3-0 with a wrist shot from the far circle and this was followed by a shorthanded slapshot goal from Philip Tornqvist. The final goal of the game was scored on the power play by forward Branden Piku, who shot the puck from just outside the blue line and saw it take a crazy bounce into the net to make the final score 5-0. Michael Morelli made 23 saves in his first shutout of the season. The win brings the Black Bears to 1-2-1 in season-opening games.
Maryland and New Jersey rematch Saturday night at 7:00 PM ET at Piney Orchard Ice Arena.