The Maryland Black Bears defeated the Johnstown Tomahawks Wednesday night in Game 4 of the first round of the Robertson Cup Playoffs. Maryland goes ahead two games to one.
Both sides came out for the game Wednesday night, knowing getting the win would be crucial going on in the series. Both sides came out with that mindset and urgency to start the game. The first penalties of the game were coincidental minors, going to Holt Oliphant and Philip Tornqvist for roughing 5:24 into the game. The two minutes of four-on-four time went by with neither side scoring with a little more space open on the ice. Exactly ten minutes into the opening period, Brendan Clark scored his second goal of the playoffs and getting the Tomahawks on the board first, taking the lead. With 4:47 remaining in the period, Jared Gerger gave Maryland the first power play of the period as he was called for hooking. The Hawks cleared off the penalty with ease, ending the 1st period ahead 1-0.
The 2nd period began with good back and forth play with both teams looking to get the next goal in the game. It wasn’t until 9:15 when Branden Piku was sent off for high-sticking to give the Tomahawks their first power play opportunity of the game, but they weren’t able to convert on the power play. They had another chance a few minutes later when Cam Gaudette also got called for high-sticking as well, but just like the last penalty, the Black Bears killed off the penalty and the game continued on 1-0 Hawks. Just 12 seconds after the power play ended, Will Margel netted his first of the playoffs, putting the Tomahawks up 2-0 with 6:34 remaining in the 2nd period. 4 minutes later, the Black Bears break through as Hunter McCoy scores his first of the playoffs also to get Maryland on the board to make the score 2-0 with just over two minutes remaining in the period. With good chances and desperation coming from both sides after the McCoy goal, both teams headed to the locker room with the Tomahawks ahead by one going into the 3rd period.
With Daniel Tkac taking a penalty with just three seconds remaining in the middle frame, the Black Bears start the 3rd with a 1:57 power play opportunity. Josh Nixon found the back of the net on the power play to tie the game up for the Black Bears 1:10 into the period, with an ample amount of time for both sides to add to their scoring. With no penalties in the 3rd period, Brad McNeil scores again for the Black Bears with only 3:07 remaining in regulation to take the lead by a score of 3-2. The Tomahawks pulled goaltender Sam Evola in an extra-attacker attempt, but weren’t able to find the back of the net to tie things up and force overtime, ending the game with Maryland winning 3-2.
Game 4 will be tomorrow, Wednesday May 27 at6:30 PM in Maryland with the Black Bears ahead 2-1 in the best of 5 series. The game will be available on HockeyTV along with updates on social media throughout the game.