After falling 4-3 in overtime the night before to the New Jersey Titans, the Maryland Black Bears looked to bounce back with a big win to stay in the race for first place. And thanks to two late goals in the third period, the Black Bears did just that, securing a 4-2 win in a rematch with the Titans.
The scoring started quickly when New Jersey forward Brendan Dumas scored 33 seconds into the hockey game to give the Titans a 1-0 lead. Forward Tyler Young responded for Maryland, scoring on a breakaway with a backhand to forehand move to tie the game 1-1. The Black Bears started the second period scoring quickly when forward Miles Gunty buried a rebound to make it 2-1 Black Bears just 32 seconds into the period. New Jersey tied the game up before the second period was over with a goal from forward Tommy Bannister on the powerplay.
The third period was a back and forth affair with a lot of hits in between scoring chances. But when it seemed like overtime was about to happen for the second consecutive night, forward Branden Piku delivered the ice-breaking tally on a wrap-around goal while falling to his knees to make it 3-2 Maryland with three minutes and 57 seconds to go in the game. Then a minute and 28 seconds later, Black Bears’ forward Ryan Bottrill finished off a tic-tac-toe goal on an odd-man rush to make it 4-2, a score that would hold up as final as the Maryland Black Bears defeat the New Jersey Titans. Maryland goalie Luca Di Pasquo made 23 saves in his eleventh win on the season.
The Maryland Black Bears are now just two points behind the New Jersey Titans for first in the division while playing two fewer games. The Black Bears are off next week but hit the road on January 21st and 22nd as they take on the Jamestown Rebels. Maryland returns home on Friday, January 28th for a home series against the Johnstown Tomahawks. All games can be streamed on HockeyTV.