The Maryland Black Bears came into tonight’s game red hot, sporting a 4-0-1 record in its last five games. The Black Bears continued its success on the ice against its East Division rival the Johnstown Tomahawks, scoring three third-period goals to win the game 6-4.
Maryland forward Laker Aldridge got the scoring started when Johnstown goaltender Sam Evola turned the puck over behind the net for Aldridge to score from in the slot to make it 1-0. The Tomahawks tied the game later that period with a goal from forward Cole Bianchin to make it 1-1. However, Black Bears’ forward Jesse Horacek responded 67 seconds later, scoring on a breakaway to make it 2-1.
Maryland picked up where they left off in the second period, scoring 69 seconds in with a backhand breakaway goal from forward Branden Piku to make it 3-1. Black Bears’ forward Aden Bruich made the score 4-1 when he tipped in a shot from defenseman Sean Kilcullen. Johnstown, after the goal, pulled starting goaltender Sam Evola in favor of goalie Liam Gross. Defenseman Kevin Scott scored on a wrist shot for the Black Bears with a shot from the point to make it 5-1, a score that would hold until the third period.
Johnstown scored the first two goals of the second period to cut the lead to 5-3 with goals from defenseman Frank Jenkins and forward Jake Black. Maryland responded with a goal from Vlad Polegoshko who put a rebound home to make it 6-3. Johnstown scored in the game’s final minute with a wrap-around goal from forward Stephen Kyrkostas to make the final score 6-4. Michael Morelli made 23 saves in the Black Bears’ 19th win of the season.
Maryland and Johnstown rematch Saturday night at Piney Orchard Ice Arena with puck drop set for 7:00 PM ET. The game can also be streamed on HockeyTV.