Maryland Trounces Johnstown to Clinch Playoff Birth

The Maryland Black Bears have not been to the North American Hockey League’s Robertson Cup Playoffs since 2021, where the Black Bears entered as a fourth seed and made it to the East Division Final, upsetting Johnstown in five games round one before being swept by the Maine Nordiques the next round in three games. Maryland, with a win over Johnstown, would clinch a playoff spot for the 2023 Robertson Cup Playoffs. And thanks to another offensive outburst, the Black Bears did just that, punching its ticket to the playoffs with a 5-1 win.

Maryland started the scoring early with a goal just 41 seconds in courtesy of forward Hunter Ramos. Ramos received a cross-ice pass from forward Christian Catalano and raced into the offensive zone, where he ripped a shot past Johnstown goalie Alec Rajalin-Scharp’s glove side to make it 1-0 Black Bears. Maryland would add on another goal in the first period with a wrist shot goal from defenseman Kaleb Tiessan, who let the shot go low to the right side of Rajalin-Scharp to make it 2-0.

Maryland added to the lead in the second period, when forward Kareem El-Bashir sprung forward Adam Schankula on a breakaway, where he deked to his backhand to make it 3-0. Johnstown was able to get on the board before the end of the second period with a deflection goal in the slot by forward Will Lawrence to make it 3-1.

The Black Bears continued the scoring in the third period on a wrap-around goal from forward Kareem El-Bashir to make it 4-1. Maryland forward Riley Ruh capped off the scoring with a wrist shot to the top right corner of the goal to make it 5-1. Black Bears’ goaltender William Hakansson made 14 in the playoff-clinching effort.

Maryland and Johnstown will rematch one last time this Sunday afternoon with a puck drop scheduled for 2:00 p.m. ET at Piney Orchard Ice Arena. All games can be streamed on HockeyTV.