The Maryland Black Bears ventured up to Attleboro, Massachusetts this past weekend for a two-game series with its East Division rival, the Northeast Generals. After the two games had come and gone, it was Maryland securing three of a possible four points to stay right in the thick of the East Division title race.
Game one was a dominant 7-2 victory for the Maryland Black Bears. Forwards Dimitry Kebreau and Miles Gunty scored in the first period with the Generals’ sole response being a goal by forward David Andreychuk for a 2-1 Black Bears lead after one period. Northeast tied the game with a goal from forward David Tolan just over two minutes into the second period to make it 2-2. But after that, it was all Maryland. The Black Bears got two more goals in the second period from forwards Tyler Young and Branden Piku to make the score 4-2 after two periods. The goal for Tyler Young was his first as a Black Bear.
Maryland ran away with the game in the third period by scoring three goals in the final frame. It started with an early goal from forward Elliott Lareau to make it 5-2, followed by two more goals from forwards Jacob Brockman and Branden Piku just after the halfway point of the third period. The score would hold up to be a 7-2 win for the Black Bears. Piku’s performance led the way for Maryland with two goals and two assists. Four other players for the Black Bears had multi-point performances, including forwards Vlad Polegoshko (two assists) and Miles Gunty (one goal, one assist). Maryland defensemen Luke Van Why and Kevin Scott both recorded two assists as well. Luca Di Pasquo made 19 saves in the win for the Black Bears.
The second game on the weekend saw goals hard to come by. The game’s first goal wasn’t scored until there were less than five minutes to play in the third period, with General’s forward Jared Scott cashing in for a 1-0 Northeast lead. But Maryland would not be put away so easily, as forward Branden Piku deflected a shot from Tyler Young into the net just over a minute later to tie the game 1-1. The game went into overtime where General’s forward Brent Keefer scored the game-winning goal for a 2-1 Northeast win. Maryland goaltender Michael Morelli made 27 saves. Black Bears’ forward Branden Piku was awarded the East Division’s second star of the week for his performance (three goals and two assists in two games).
Maryland (36 points) sits just one point behind the New Jersey Titans (37 points) in the East Division standings with two games at hand. The Black Bears travel to Danbury, Connecticut this weekend to take on the Danbury Jr. Hat Tricks, who Maryland is 3-1-0 against so far this season. The games can be streamed on HockeyTV.