After a 2021-2022 season that saw franchise records in wins (29) and points (70) but ultimately no playoff birth, the Maryland Black Bears took the ice Friday night with something to prove. Their opponent was the defending Robertson Cup champion New Jersey Titans, who open their season at Piney Orchard Ice Arena in Odenton, Maryland, for the fourth time in five years. After a troubling start, the Black Bears were able to secure a 4-2 win over the Titans.
New Jersey struck just 13 seconds in after a turnover behind the net led to an empty net goal for Titans’ forward Ryan Novo for an early 1-0 lead. However, Maryland forward Jesse Horacek responded less than half a minute later with a snapshot goal that beat New Jersey goaltender Ben Charette to tie the score 1-1. The Black Bears followed that up just over a minute later, with captain Brad McNeil redirecting a shot in from the slot to make the score 2-1 before the game was two minutes old.
Maryland forward Elliot Lareau kept the scoring going in the second period, ripping a wrist shot home on the power play from the slot to make it 3-1. Before the second period was over, the Titans responded with a goal from forward Ben Muthersbaugh to cut the lead to 3-2. Black Bears’ forward Hunter Ramos capped the scoring off early in the third period, scoring a wrist shot goal from the top of the left circle to make it 4-2, a score that would hold to be the final. Maryland goaltender William Hakansson recorded his first win as a Black Bear in the contest.
Maryland and New Jersey rematch on Saturday, September 10th at Piney Orchard Ice Arena. Puck drop is set for 7:30 PM ET with the game also being streamed on HockeyTV.