ATTLEBORO, MA– After taking two at home, the Maryland Black Bears headed up to Attleboro to take on the Northeast Generals in need of only one win to get back to the East Division Final. While Northeast made a big push back towards Maryland, the Black Bears got the job done and won 3-1 to sweep the series and move into the East Division Final.
The first period saw the Black Bears get out of the gate early, continuing their pressure at the Northeast net, but Cullen DeYoung was on point to start things off to keep the puck out of the net for the time being. Down the other end, William Hakansson was tested towards the middle of the frame and was equal to the task to keep his own sheet clean in the first. Late in the frame, Gabriel Westling broke the ice on the scoreboard, putting home a Brayden Stannad rebound behind DeYoung to give Maryland the lead. Pressing for another, the Black Bears were going into the intermission up by one.
Another back-and-forth period for the second saw plenty of action in the Maryland defensive zone, with Northeast playing desperate hockey in order to tie up the game. Hakansson was solid in net and stymied the Northeast attack for the majority of the period. With under five minutes remaining, Northeast broke through with Jared Scott taking a broken play and working through the Maryland defense to even up the score. The Black Bears didn’t back down and had a big response putting pressure on DeYoung and finally broke through with 18 seconds to play in the frame Samuel Stitz picked up the loose change in front through a crowd of bodies in front and cashed in very late to give the Black Bears the 2-1 lead heading into the second intermission.
Possession from the Black Bears ruled the day in the third period, as they protected the lead thanks to their forecheck and neutral zone play was able to stop any Northeast attack. With their feet constantly moving, they were able to draw a penalty in the middle of the frame. That allowed Christian Catalano to finally get on the goal side of the scoresheet with a one-timer set-up by Trey Scott to give the Black Bears the 3-1 lead on the insurance power play goal. With the two-goal lead, the Black Bears defense held down the rest of the game, allowing Maryland to win the game 3-1 and sweep the series 3-0, moving to the East Division Final for the second time in their franchise history.
The Black Bears now await the winner of the Maine/New Jersey series. The series will start in Maryland and you can go to Tickets.MarylandBlackBears.com to get your tickets and help the Black Bears in their hunt for the Robertson Cup.