Black Bears Takes Three of Four Points from Rebels

ODENTON, MD– After almost two years, the Maryland Black Bears played host to the Jamestown Rebels at the Den in Piney Orchard. While things seemed to go Maryland’s way on Friday, the hockey karma swung the other way with the Black Bears only able to pick up three of four points on the weekend. 

Photo Jon Pitonzo/FOHS Media Faction

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 4th, 2022: BLACK BEARS (2) vs. Jamestown (0): Maryland controlled the play for most of the first period, getting plenty of offensive chances from the likes of Tyler Young and Miles Gunty, but Nolan Suggs was able to keep the Black Bears at bay. It wouldn’t hold forever, as Tyler Young broke the ice for the Black Bears, finding the puck in a mass of humanity to net his sixth of the season, even with confusion from everyone in the building and the referees. After discussions with the goal judge, the goal stood and Maryland was up 1-0. The Black Bears did get into some penalty troubles shortly after, with a tripping call in their offensive zone and then at the dying seconds of that penalty, a hook while on the PK. Thanks to their solid penalty killing, Maryland was able to limit Jamestown’s chances and kill both penalties. Maryland took back offensive control, as they picked up where they left off before the penalties; which resulted in another Young goal, taking a Jacob Brockman pass and going forehand to backhand past Suggs with only 13 seconds remaining in the frame. 

The start of the period saw the Black Bears continue to press, looking for that third goa, but Jamestown not only withstood pressure, but returned it; being able to get behind the Black Bears’ defense and create some odd-man rushes. Luckily for Maryland, Luca Di Pasquo was dialed in and made some crucial saves to keep Jamestown shaking their heads. More penalty troubles for Maryland saw the penalty kill and Di Pasquo come up very big in the tests against them. The Black Bears did swing the momentum at the end of the period, which led to Ryan Bottrill getting a penalty shot after he was hauled down. However, Suggs shut off his five-hole and kept the game 2-0 after two periods.

Emotions were high in the third, as the physical play picked up in a big way. Laker Aldridge and Aden Bruich were keyed in on by Jamestown to try and goad some penalties out of them. Aldridge finally had enough with and roughed up John Lundy, resulting in a double minor for Aldridge to Lundy’s lone minor. Recent RIT commit Kevin Scott got into it, too, taking down Jak Vaarwerk in a spirited affair, earning both of them an early shower. The Black Bears tried to put the game out of hand on their lone power play, but Suggs didn’t let anything pass. Desperate, Jamestown threw everything at Di Pasquo, but Luca kept his sheet clean, helping with the Black Bears gaining the 2-0 victory and third shutout of the season for Di Pasquo. 

Photo Jon Pitonzo/FOHS Media Faction

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 5th, 2022: BLACK BEARS (3) vs. Jamestown (4) OT: Game two started off much like game one with Maryland dictating the offensive play. Plenty of chances around Jon Howe, including ones from Jacob Brockman and Elliott Lareau, but nothing to show for it. Michael Morelli got the call in net and was solid when tested in the first period. 

The Rebels got off to a better start in the second, holding Maryland in their own defensive zone for the most part in the period, but Morelli and the defense was solid when dealing with their attack, keeping the game scoreless. The Black Bears did get on the board before the mid-point of the period with Jacob Brockman hammering home a Aidan McDowell set-up to give the Black Bears the lead. After that, Maryland kept their foot on the gas with more sustained pressure on the offensive end. That pressure would pay off again as Matthew Davies sent it down to Branden Piku who fired it on net and Jack Blanchett cheated down to put it into an open net and give Maryland the 2-0 lead. Jamestown got a little bit of their jump back, trying to make sure Maryland momentum didn’t get the best of them, leading to James Miller firing a shot that looked to deflect off a Black Bears’ defender and past Morelli to make it 2-1 at the second intermission. 

Jamestown built off their late goal and they were able to tie the game early in the period on a give-and-go between Jak Vaarwerk and John Lundy leading to Vaarwerk’s ninth of the season and a tie game. The Rebels kept their momentum and got some luck with a Maryland defender who lost an edge, the puck being picked up by Vaarwerk, who found Kolby Amici on the one-timer– giving Jamestown the lead. Trying not to let it defeat them, Maryland looked to overcome the bad bounces and get the equalizer. That came as Jesse Horacek found the rebound off a Lareau drive to the net to even the score at three with 8:31 remaining. Morelli made some key saves late, as the game shifted to overtime.

In the overtime frame, Maryland picked up possession first, but couldn’t get much on Howe. Just 1:48 into the extra frame, Vaarwerk picked up the puck, wrapped around the net, and put it past a sprawling Morelli to give Jamestown the extra point and push Maryland to 3-8 in extra time. 

The Black Bears travel to Northeast to take on the Generals in a Thursday and Friday afternoon affairs. 

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