Maryland Rallies to Take Down Philadelphia 4-2

December 9, 2023 - North American Hockey League (NAHL) - Maryland Black Bears News Release

After the Philadelphia Rebels stole a 2-1 shootout win over the Maryland Black Bears on Friday night, the two teams took the ice in what is the final home game for Maryland in 2023. The Rebels used the momentum from their Friday win to take an early lead, but the Black Bears never gave up and fought back for a big 4-2 win over their East Division foe.

The scoring started with two first period power play goals for the Rebels. The first came off the stick of forward Greg Spitznagel who threw the puck on goal from the far circle and had it deflect off a Maryland player and in for a 1-0 lead. The second came from forward Ryan Bunting, who lifted a near side rebound over Black Bears' goalie Colin Ronan and in for a 2-0 lead.

The second period saw Maryland overcome huge odds, as a pair of penalties saw them shorthanded five-on-three for a full two minutes. Through blocked shots and great goaltending, the Black Bears overcame the obstacle and set their sights on a comeback. The bench got fired up too after Ray Perrault won a fight with a big right hook against Rebels' forward Brock Jones. The comeback started when Maryland defenseman Luke Amell let the puck go from the point and had it deflect off the stick of forward Ryder Nienhuis and in to make it 2-1. The Black Bears tied the game when forward Luke Rubin got a rebound near side on the power play and lifted the puck over Philadelphia goalie Jack Fialkoff and in to tie the game at 2-2.

Maryland forward Riley Ruh played hero in the third period, lifting the Black Bears to a 3-2 lead on a power play goal that saw him go one-on-one with a Rebels' defenseman and roof the puck top right corner on the backhand for the lead. Ruh ended the game with an empty net goal assisted by forward Michael Urgo and defenseman Trayce Johnson. Fialkoff made 27 saves for the Rebels while Ronan made 16 for the Black Bears in the winning effort.

Maryland hits the road next weekend for a three-game set with the Johnstown Tomahawks from December 15th through 17th. The Black Bears will then have a break for the holidays and reconvene at Piney Orchard Ice Arena on January 5th and 6th for a big series against the Maine Nordiques, who sit at first place in the East Division currently. All games can be streamed on NAHLTV.

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