The Johnstown Tomahawks fell short to the Maryland Black Bears on the road Friday as they were defeated by a final score of 6-4.
The game began with Maryland’s Laker Aldridge testing Tomahawks defenseman Dusty Geregach. His discipline earned the Tomahawks a power play just 24 seconds into the game. Although the Black Bears killed off the penalty, Aldridge returned to the ice putting the Black Bears on the board 4:08 in. Aldridge then returned to the box just a few minutes later, after dropping the gloves with Johnstown’s Cedrick Theodore. After the Tomahawks killed off a few additional penalties, Cole Bianchin found the back of the net, scoring his second goal of the season, tying the game at one for the Tomahawks. The lead didn’t last long though as Jesse Horacek regained the lead for the Black Bears with 2:42 remaining in the 1st period.
The 2nd period was all Maryland as Branden Piku and Aden Bruich scored in the first seven minutes of the period. Bruich’s goal put the Black Bears up 4-1 and ended the night for Tomahawks netminder Sam Evola, giving Liam Gross his season debut between the pipes for the Tomahawks. As Gross was getting settled into the game, Kevin Scott added to the scoring for Maryland, sending the Black Bears into the 3rd period up 5-1.
The Tomahawks settled back into the game in the 3rd period as Frank Jenkins netted a 5-on-3 power play goal for the Tomahawks with 9:20 to go in regulation, followed by a short-handed goal for Jake Black to make it a two-goal game in Maryland with 6:54 remaining. Maryland responded yet again though with a goal from Vlad Polegoshko, making it 6-3. The Tomahawks battled down to the very end with Stephen Kyrkostas making it a two-goal game again with just 5 seconds to go, giving Maryland a 6-4 win Friday night.
The two teams face off again tomorrow, Saturday, December 18 at Piney Orchard Ice Arena in Odenton, Maryland for the final game of the weekend series, as the Tomahawks look to split against the Black Bears.