The Johnstown Tomahawks and Maryland Black Bears met for the final time this season Saturday night at Piney Orchard Ice Arena as the team hosted its first annual Military Appreciation Night. The Tomahawks looked for its eleventh straight win over Maryland, while the Black Bears eyed win 15 on the season to get closer to the final playoff spot in the East Division. The Tomahawks were able to prevail, riding a fast start to a 4-2 win.
Johnstown struck just over two minutes in, with defender Austin Friesen shooting a slap shot over the glove of Maryland goalie David Tomeo to make it 1-0. Just over a minute later, the Tomahawks struck once again on the power play to make it 2-0. Johnstown forward Carson Briere received a pass from across the ice and put a wrist shot in top right side. Johnathan Young got one back for the Black Bears short handed, chipping home a rebound from a Max Borst shot to make it 2-1.
Tomahawks’ forward Bennett Stockdale made it 3-1 in the second period. Johnstown forward Colin Price passed it cross ice to Stockdale, who put the puck five hole on Tomeo. The score remained the same until Tomahawks’ forward Andy Nedeljkovic put home a rebound close range to make it 4-1. Maryland had a late comeback attempt, as Connor Pooley scored on a power play with just over two minutes to go to make it 4-2. The Black Bears had many chances at the end to score, but Johnstown goalie Carter McPhail stopped them all to hold on to a 4-2 Tomahawks win.
Maryland continues its quest for a playoff birth in an import series against the Jamestown Rebels, who hold a nine point lead on the last playoff spot in the East Division. Game one will take place Friday, March 1st at Piney Orchard Ice Arena. Puck drop will be at 7:45 P.M. ET.