LEWISTON, ME– In what could be a preview of the playoffs, the Black Bears went back up to Maine to take on the Nordiques. Another weekend between these two and two great games, but Maryland would only be able to pick up one of four points on the weekend, getting swept by Maine.
FRIDAY JANUARY 20th, 2023: BLACK BEARS (5) at Maine (6) OT: Things didn’t get started great for Maryland, as Maine got on the board under four minutes into the frame with Henrik Hallberg getting the opening tally after a scrum in front and tapped it in behind William Hakansson. Maryland would respond properly with a rush down the other end and drawing a power play from it. Towards the end of the power play, Adam Schankula picked up a Luke Van Why rebound and put it home for his eighth of the year to tie the game. The Black Bears kept their attack up and cashed in midway through the period with Hunter Ramos crashing the net and picking up 15th off a Schankula shot to put the Black Bears ahead. The last part of the period belonged to Maine, as they put pressure on thanks to some untimely penalties for Maryland. First, Jonny Meiers picked up his sixth of the year off a big rebound on the power play, then with under 90 seconds left, Filip Wiberg tallied his eighth of the year to give Maine the 3-2 lead going into the break.
More penalty troubles trolled the Black Bears in the start of the second, resulting in Meiers converting for his second of the night and ending Hakansson’s night in favor of Jack Wieneke. Wieneke was tested early, but made two huge stretched out pad stops to keep Maryland within striking distance. The Black Bears woke up a little after that, putting the pressure on Maine’s defense and Thomas Heaney before Kal Essenmacher was able to break through with his fourth of the year off a rebound to cut Maine’s lead to one for the second intermission.
Offensively, in the third period, Maryland dominated, putting 16 shots on goal throughout the frame. It wasn’t until the middle portion where Branden Piku put home a power play goal, following up on the play in front and collapsing to the net to find the loose puck and tie the game. Another power play later on in the frame allowed Maine the lead back with Aidan Coupe putting away the rebound after two solid stops by Wieneke. The Black Bears answered less than two minutes later after Trey Scott found a big rebound of his third of the year thanks to a great zone presence by the Black Bears off the rush. Try as each team might, they couldn’t find the go-ahead goal in regulation, so they went to overtime.
Deciding who got the extra point the Black Bears had a couple of chances, but it was ultimately Patrick Schmiedlin who came out of the corner, eluded a diving defenseman, and gave Maine the win halfway through overtime.
SATURDAY JANUARY 21st, 2023: BLACK BEARS (0) at Maine (2): Maine got on the board early again, as Blake Rothstein potted his third of the year off a two-on-one transition play and beat Jack Wieneke as he was coming across to make it 1-0 Nordiques. Maryland would get their chances on Kael Depape, but couldn’t find the back of the net. The period would be one of matching minors, as twice both teams got called for penalties at the same time with the refs trying to defuse the situations.
The second period was a back-and-forth for both times, with each side getting their fair chances, but neither could find the back of the net. Early in the third, Maryland thought they had tied the game, but a shot rang off the iron and stayed out to keep Maine ahead. Despite all the chances Maryland had in the third, they couldn’t beat Depape. Laurent Trepanier, who was solid for Maine in their last penalty kill against the Black Bears, cashed in on the empty net to make the game 2-0, which would end up being the final.
The Black Bears head home next weekend against the Northeast Generals with Saturday night being Old Bay night for the Black Bears. Go to Tickets.MarylandBlackBears.com to get your seats today.