Black Bears' Returning Talent Brings Along High Expectations
The world is full of uncertainty but one thing remains constant; the excitement of Maryland Black Bears' players, fans and staff about a new season! For the first time in team history, the Black Bears have a plethora of returning talent. With eleven players returning from a playoff bound team last season, the Black Bears have the advantage of built in chemistry. Returning are four defensemen and seven(!) are forwards. Four players are also committed to Division-1 programs. Those players are Aden Bruich (Clarkson University), Bryden Sinclair (Maine), Reid Leibold (RPI), and Garrett Szydlowski (Western Michigan). Two of those players, Luke Mountain and Thomas Jarman, are the last two Inaugural Season players remaining on the team. The coaching staff will look to those two to bring veteran leadership to the Black Bears' locker room.
While the coaches and fans are excited about the returning talent, they are equally as excited with the new talent that Coach/GM Mylymok has brought in. Through the Official NAHL Draft, Supplemental Draft, Dispersal Drafts, Free Agency, and trades, the Black Bears have added a diverse group of talent. Some former MBB rivals such as Northeastern commit Cam Gaudette and Seth Bergeron are now teammates. Some players who were supposed to compete in Canada are now Black Bears, including Holy Cross commit Daniel Colabufo, Lake Superior State commit Brendan Hill, and former BCHL forward Hunter McCoy. The Black Bears are also bringing in some home-grown talent with former Team Maryland 18U defenseman Sean Kilcullen. Returning forward Reid Leibold is excited to reunite with former Northwood Prep School teammates Matthew Shanklin and Daniel Colabufo.
Though there are a lot of returning players on the roster, neither Black Bears goaltenders from last season will be back in Maryland this season. Cooper Black moving onto the USHL Omaha Lancers. Aaron Randazzo is now a student athlete at St. Cloud State University. New this season, Nick Beck (via CCHL,) Michael Morelli (free agent who last played for Meijer AAA 18U and Isaiah DiLaura (a fourth round draft pick.)
The Black Bears added some young guns through tenders such as Connor Cole, Tanner Rowe and Shane Albert. Additional free agents include forwards Grady Friedman and Brad McNeil. The team is excited about their newly acquired talent and hopes that their rookies can contribute early and often this season.
MBB fans will have to wait to see the team play in Piney Orchard due to Anne Arundel County Covid-19 restrictions. Opening Weekend Games will be played at Ice World in Edgewood, MD. Game 1 puck drops at 7pm, Sunday October 1. Game 2, puck drop is at 11:30am. While the team is unable to open single game tickets to fans at this time, the games will be available on HockeyTV. Additionally, there will be frequent updates on all Black Bears social channels during the games.
The Black Bears were in playoff position as the season was abruptly cancelled last March, but look to build off last year's momentum and aim to make a deep playoff run this season. Last year's Assistant Captain Luke Mountain said in an interview that his goal for this season is for the team to win the Robertson Cup. With the talent that they have both retained and brought in, there doesn't appear to be any reason for the Black Bears to fall short of their high hopes for this season.
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