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 Maryland Black Bears

Black Bears Fall to Tomahawks in Season Finale

April 6, 2024 - North American Hockey League (NAHL)
Maryland Black Bears News Release

After clinching the East Division last night with a 4-1 win over the Johnstown Tomahawks, the Maryland Black Bears rested forwards Dimitry Kebreau, Jérémi Tremblay, and Jesse Horacek along with defenseman Dylan Gordon and Trayce Johnson as they look towards the post season and got a preview of some future Black Bears' players. Defenseman Brandon Webber suited up for his second game with Maryland, debuting for the Black Bears in a game on March 16th against the Tomahawks, while forward Riley Fast suited up for his first NAHL game after signing his tender for Maryland back in November. Maryland set franchise records for most wins in a season (41) and points (87) and looked to end the season on a high note. However, Johnstown Tomahawks played spoiler as they took the season finale 4-1 from the Black Bears.

Johnstown started the scoring with a goal from forward Taybor Aldrich, who took the puck coast to coast and threw the puck to the slot where it banked off of a Maryland defenseman and post Black Bears' goaltender Colin Ronan for a 1-0 lead. The Tomahawks added to the lead just 1:41 later when forward Will Moore shot the puck at the bottom portion of the near circle to the far side of the net for the 2-0 lead.

Moore continued his strong play in the second period for Johnstown when he increased his team's lead with a wrist shot goal from the far circle on the power play to make it 3-0. Later in the second period, Tomahawks' forward Chase Sandhu finished off a two-on-one chance by burying a pass from Johnstown defenseman Isaac Holt for a 4-0 lead. Maryland had an opportunity for a third period comeback, outshooting the Tomahawks 17-5 and finally beating Johnstown goalie Zach Ferris with a wrist shot goal from forward David Utkin to make it 4-1, but it was not enough as the 4-1 score held up to be the final.

The Maryland Black Bears, by clinching the top seed in the East Division, earned a bye through the play-in round that will the third seed in the East take on the sixth and the fourth seed taking on the fifth seed in a best-of-three series, with the winners being reseeded for the East Division semi-final. Maryland will take the ice for game one the semi-final series against a TBD opponent on Friday, April 19th with game two Saturday, April 20th at Piney Orchard Ice Arena with puck drop time TBD.

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