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 Maryland Black Bears

Maryland Sweeps Minot to Advance to Championship Game

May 18, 2024 - North American Hockey League (NAHL)
Maryland Black Bears News Release

After the Maryland Black Bears took game one over the Minot Minotauros by the score of 7-3, the goal was simple, win and they're in the final. It was a back-and-forth, hard-hitting effort by both teams. But in the end, Maryland's powerplay and offense efficiency, highlighted by a hat trick by forward Jérémi Tremblay, led the Black Bears to a 6-2 win over the Minotauros, sweeping the best-of-three series and setting up a date with the Lone Star Brahmas on Tuesday night's Robertson Cup Championship game.

The scoring started in the first period with a powerplay goal from Maryland, with Tremblay burying a cross-ice pass from the near side by defenseman Dylan Gordon, and one-timed the puck past Minot goaltender Brady James for a 1-0 lead. The play started after a shorthanded breakaway chance from Minot, when forward Nicholas Sewecke, who leads the playoffs in goals and points, raced in alone against Black Bears' goaltender Owen Lepak. Sewecke made a deke to his forehand, only to meet the stretched-out pad of Lepak.

The Minotauros tied the game up on a rebound goal from Nicholas Sewecke in the second period, who slid the puck under Lepak on the near side to tie the game 1-1. Later in the second period, it was Dylan Gordon breaking the tie, jumping on a loose puck off the face-off on the near side storming to the front of the net deking from his forehand to his backhand, and to his forehand again, and roofed the puck for a 2-1 Maryland lead. The Black Bears added to the lead with a five-on-three powerplay goal as Jérémi Tremblay scored his second of the game, receiving a pass from defenseman Cal Huston and one-timing the puck from the point to the back of the net for a 3-1 lead.

Maryland had to weather a heavy storm to start the third period, as the Minot Minotauros generated numerous chances, including a few on the powerplay and held the Black Bears shotless through the first half of the period. That all changed when Maryland got their first chance on the man advantage and capitalized. The play started when Cal Huston kept the puck in the zone with his skate. Huston fed the puck to forward and captain Dimitry Kebreau at the point who slid the puck to the far side, where forward Samuel Stitz let a slapshot go that beat James from the far circle for a 4-1 lead. Minot did not go quietly, as 1:07 later Minotauros forward Cayden Casey scored on a breakaway to cut the lead to 4-2. Despite a strong push by Minot, Maryland was able to hold on for the win thanks to two empty net goals. The first was from Jérémi Tremblay who completed the hat trick to make it 5-2. Forward Riley Ruh capped the game off with another empty net goal to make the final score 6-2, sweeping the best-of-three series with Minot.

With the win, Maryland advances to the Robertson Cup Championship game for the first time in franchise history. There, they will take on the South Division Champions in the Lone Star Brahams, who swept the Midwest Division Champion Anchorage Wolverines in two games earlier in the day. Puck drop will be at 7:00 p.m. CT at Fogerty Arena in Blaine, Minnesota. The game can be streamed on NAHLTV.

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