BLAINE, MN– After a successful first two games, the Maryland Black Bears had a bit of bad luck in their final two games, dropping both of them to a score of 4-2.
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 17th, 2021: BLACK BEARS (2) vs. Odessa Jackalopes (4): The Black Bears were able to get off to a quick start in the third game of the Showcase, controlling the chances offensively before finally breaking through midway through the first with Jacob Brockman putting away his second of the year with a laser over the shoulder of Odessa’s William Proctor. With momentum and getting power plays, the Black Bears were trying to put it on Odessa; but on one of the power plays, the Jackalopes took the puck forward after a turnover at the blue line and Trevor Taulien’s shot alluded Michael Morelli to tie the game. Just 3:30 later, a turnover on a rush created a four-on-one for Odessa, ending in a Liam O’Hare goal to put the Jackalopes up at the end of the first, 2-1.
The second period yielded no scoring, but the Black Bears defense was pinching more and more to try and create some offense, but couldn’t get anything going. With the pinching, the Odessa offense did have some chances the other way, but Morelli was able to stave off the attacks.
With just over four minutes elapsed in the third period, Odessa struck again, as Christopher Duclair used his speed up the wing to drive past the Maryland defense and slide it five-hole on Morelli for the 3-1 lead. The Black Bears tried to get pucks through, but Odessa just seemd to know how to get their bodies in the shooting lanes to take away any chances for Maryland. With seventeen seconds left, Emerson Goode sealed the deal with the 4-1 marker, while James Tepper scored his first in the NAHL with a second left for Maryland to make the final 4-2 for the Jackalopes.
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 18th, 2021: BLACK BEARS (2) vs. Chippewa Steel (4): It was quite a neutral match-up for the first 40 minutes between Maryland and Chippewa, though Chippewa did hold the offensive advantage with almost double the amount of shots as Maryland had through 40 minutes. Even with the shot count being as it was, it was 0-0 after two periods.
The third period yield goals fairly quickly, as Chippewa scored two goals in 29 second in the first fives minutes of the frame. First, Chippewa capitalized on an interception of the breakout by Maryland, which led to a Marc Feltemeyer goal past Luca Di Pasquo. Twenty-nine seconds later, Chippewa intercepts another breakout pass with Nick Sajevic putting home the second goal. Maryland cut the lead in half minutes later with a cycle down low that saw Ryan Bottrill feed Jacob Brockman for his third goal of the season.
Maryland carried the momentum after that goal, but nothing was getting through Levi Gho. Chippewa came on late, as they picked up a drop pass of Maryland’s that stuck to the ice and went in 2-on-0 and led to a Thomas Grainda goal to make it 3-1. Jack Brown made it 4-1 with an empty netter for the Steel, while Philip Tornqvist scored on the power play with one second remaining, making the final 4-2 Chippewa.
It was the third Showcase for Maryland and the third time they finished with two wins. After a flight home tonight and probable day off Sunday, Maryland is back at it in preparation for the an East Division Final rematch against the Maine Nordiques Friday and Saturday night at Piney Orchard.