Scoring at a Premium in Black Bears Split with Rebels

ODENTON, MD– After a mid-week tilt between these two sides, they did it for a Friday and Saturday set in Odenton. Frustration was the word of the weekend for the Black Bears, especially the first 70 minutes of game-play across the two games. Though, they persisted on and were able to garner a split for the weekend. 

Photo: Jon Pitonzo/FOHS Media Faction

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 24th, 2023: BLACK BEARS (0) vs. Philadelphia (1): Picking up where they left off on Tuesday, the Black Bears paced the offensive play from the start of the game. Even when a man short, the Black Bears’ penalty kill had more offensive output than the Rebels power play. The defensive tactic worked and limited the Rebels to only six shots through 40 minutes of play. However, even with keeping the opposition pin in their zone, the Black Bears couldn’t find any one of their shots to sneak behind Jakub Krbecek

While it wasn’t shown too much, the frustration of the Black Bears looked to set in with many players looking up to the ceiling after Grade-A chances were denied in front. The movement of the offense was as they drew it up, but the outcome wasn’t. Some penalty issues began to creep in, but only due to miscommunication with back-to-back too many players on the ice calls going against the Black Bears. Maryland has gotten tagged for too many players five times at Piney Orchard this season. After those were killed off and after 40 minutes, the game was still scoreless. 

The Black Bears continued to press with more solid chances to start the third, but it wasn’t until 5:36 when the Rebels broke the ice with David Deputy powering through the Maryland defense and getting a shot off that beat William Hakansson to make it 1-0 for the Rebels. The Black Bears didn’t looked too phased, as they continued their onslaught of the Rebels net, but could never find the equalizer, dropping another Friday heartbreaker at home by a count of 1-0. 

Photo: Jon Pitonzo/FOHS Media Faction

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 25th, 2023: BLACK BEARS (3) vs Philadelpha (0): Maryland again started off quick, getting an early chance from Hunter Ramos, but Jakub Krbecek was on his game to start. It wasn’t until midway through the first when the Black Bears got on the board, as on a delayed penalty call, Christian Catalano picked up a rebound in front and put it away for his 26th of the season. The Black Bears continued to put pucks towards the net, but couldn’t find a second goal for the frame and went into the intermission up 1-0. 

In the second period, Maryland had plenty of chances again, but could not find the back of the net. However, the Rebels were starting to get their possession time and were firing shots at net, but William Hakansson was equal to the tasks with 14 saves through two periods. 

The Rebels would continue their push in the third period, but Hakansson and the defense was able to keep them at bay. Close to the midway point, Samuel Stitz netted his eighth of the year, coming off the bench and streaking down the slot, getting a solid cross-ice pass from Dimitry Kebreau, then going top shelf to make it 2-0 Black Bears. With back-to-back penalties, the Rebels looked to get some momentum, but the penalty kill and Hakansson were getting in the way of everything. The dagger was Luke Van Why lofting a shot in his own zone to go into the empty net for the 3-0 win. 

The shutout for the Black Bears was their sixth of the season and third against the Rebels. Hakansson recorded his fourth shutout of the year, setting the single-season record for the franchise and tying him for the all-time record. 

Maryland travels to Attleboro to take on the Northeast Generals next weekend. Both games will be on HockeyTV.

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