ATTLEBORO, MA– Heading to Northeast for their final time this year, the Maryland Black Bears looked to avenge their first series in Attleboro, which they were swept. After a big night on Friday night, Saturday was a frustrating one; leading to a split weekend for the Black Bears.
FRIDAY MARCH 3rd, 2023: BLACK BEARS (5) at Northeast (1): Things got started early and by early, I mean before the game. In warm-ups, a pane of glass on the main rink was shattered. Luckily, the New England Sports Village is a dual rink set-up, so they shifted the game over there– but the broadcast was not able to work out their technical difficulties in the move and it wasn’t able to be seen to the outside public, despite the broadcast team’s strongest efforts.
It took some time before the scoreless tie was broken, as William Hakansson for Maryland and Toby Hopp for Northeast kept the scoring at bay for the better part of the frame. The Black Bears got on the board first with Hunter Ramos notching his 16th of the season with helpers from Brad McNeil and Christian Catalano. Only 1:29 later, Northeast’s Frank D’ancona was able to slip one behind Hakansson to tie the game up going into the second period. However, a double-minor taken by the Black Bears would put them shorthanded at the end of the first and into the second.
Being shorthanded was no issue for the Black Bears, who lead the NAHL in shorthanded goals. They added to that with Dimitry Kebreau getting his 20th of the season only 20 seconds into the middle stanza with Brayden Stannard and Trey Scott adding assists. At bit of controversy later in the frame, as Scott looked to have scored; though there was discussion needed between the officials. After a chat, Scott’s goal stood for his sixth of the year with McNeil and Adam Schankula on the helpers. Just past the halfway point, Samuel Stitz added his ninth of the season from Kebreau and Luke Amell to cap off the three-goal second for the Black Bears, with Hakansson being a perfect 11 for 11 in net.
Maryland’s defense locked down the Generals in the third, only allowing six shots at Hakansson all period. The only scoring was Kebreau tallying his second goal of the night and 21st of the year with help from Kareem El-Bashir and Scott to give the Black Bears a big Friday night road win. Hakansson had 26 saves in his 21st win of the season.
SATURDAY MARCH 4th 2023: BLACK BEARS (0) at Northeast (3): With no delay to start this, Northeast got out of the gate early, peppering William Hakansson with plenty of shots early, but he was equal to the task. Maryland got going late, getting plenty of chances on Cullen DeYoung, but could not find the back of the net. Chippiness started late in the frame with plenty of back and forth jousting going on between the sides, but nothing drastic to end the first period, which ended scoreless.
Though the physicality died down a little, Maryland kept their foot on the pedal, putting plenty of shots on DeYoung. However, even with three power plays; they couldn’t find the back of the net. Conversely, Hakansson only faced a few tough shots against, but was able to stave off the Northeast threats to keep it scoreless through 40 minutes.
Maryland was an aggressor offensively again, keeping the pressure on, but DeYoung was frustrating the Black Bears left and right on the night. Nick Ramm opened the scoring getting a pass from behind the net right on the doorstep to open the scoring past the halfway point of the period. Joe Schubert found the open net to make it 2-0 and seconds later, Frank D’ancona found the empty net for the 3-0 lead and split the weekend.
The Black Bears have their penultimate road series as they travel to New Jersey to take on the Titans next Friday and Saturday.