McNeil’s Overtime Winner Gives Maryland a 2-0 Series Lead Over Northeast

After winning game one 8-2 on Friday night, the Maryland Black Bears looked to take a stranglehold on its best-of-five series against the Northeast Generals on Saturday night in game two. And after a back-and-forth game that saw Maryland head to overtime in the playoffs for the first time in its history, it was the captain Brad McNeil redirecting the game-winning goal late in the first overtime period to win game two by the score of 3-2. Maryland now leads Northeast in the East Division semifinal series 2-0, needing one more win to advance.

The Black Bears started the scoring only 3:03 into the first period, where defenseman Sean Kilcullen scored on a rebound on the powerplay to the right of the net to make it 1-0 Maryland. Northeast tied the game up with a redirection from forward Ryan Schelling to tie the game at 1-1 just over midway through the first period. Maryland responded 38 seconds later when Kilcullen fed a pass to forward Branden Piku, who made a forehand-backhand move on Generals’ goaltender Cullen DeYoung to make it 2-1 after one period of play.

The second period saw Northeast tie the game up with a powerplay goal from forward Sixten Jennersjo sent a wrist shot through a screen past Maryland goaltender William Hakansson to make it 2-2. The game stayed tied through regulation, but not without late third-period drama. With under five seconds left, a loose puck came out of a scrum and right to Generals forward Paul Minnahan. Minnahan was all alone at the lower portion of the near circle and let the puck go to the top portion of the net. However, William Hakansson was able to shuffle over and make a game-saving save and covered the rebound with 2.8 seconds left. The game was tied 2-2 after regulation, leading to the first playoff overtime period in Maryland Black Bears history.

In overtime, after the Black Bears had to kill off a penalty, Maryland got a powerplay of its own. On the powerplay, it was Brad McNeil redirecting a pass from defenseman Trey Scott into the back of the net to win the game for Maryland 3-2. Hakansson made 20 saves in the winning effort while Cullen DeYoung made 59 saves for Northeast.

The win puts Maryland up 2-0 on Northeast in the series, with one more Black Bears’ win sending them to the East Division Final to take on the winner of the New Jersey vs. Maine series. Game three will take place at New England Sports Village in Attleboro, Massachusetts, with puck drop scheduled for 7:00 pm ET on Wednesday, April 26th. If necessary, game four will take place on Thursday, April 27th at 7:00 pm ET at New England Sports Village. Game five, if necessary, will be at Piney Orchard Ice Arena at 6:30 pm ET on Saturday, April 29th. All games can be streamed on HockeyTV.