The Maryland Black Bears scored two, third period goals to defeat the visiting New Jersey Titans 4 – 2 last night at Piney Orchard Ice Arena. The game had been tied entering the final period.
Jackson Sterrett opened the scoring with 5:13 left in the first period. Wilmer Skoog took a shot from the slot that hit the post and the deep rebound came out to Thomas Jarman at the high slot. Jarman took a clapper that found its way through a screen that was saved by Patrick Pugliese but Sterrett picked up the loose puck and tapped in the rebound to give the Black Bears a 1 – 0 lead.
Mitch Machlitt scored his team high sixteenth goal of the season to tie the game at one at 5:41 into the second period. After Michael Outzen picked up his own rebound to the right of Maryland’s goaltender Andrew Takacs, he circled around the net and took a sharp angle shot the was blocked by a Black Bears defender, but puck went back to Machlitt behind the goal line. Machlitt passed it out front to Nick DeSantis. As DeSantis was knocked from behind, he took a soft shot that was saved by Takacs but Machlitt knocked in the rebound to make it a 1 – 1 game.
At 9:35 in the second Kyle Oleksiuk gave the home team a 2 – 1 lead. After a Titans turnover at center ice, Ethan Heidepriem skated into the offensive zone and took a shot that Pugliese make the save but the rebound came out to near side boards. Maryland’s Aidan McDowell was able to keep the puck in the zone and turned and found a trailing Kyle Oleksiuk alone in the slot. Oleksiuk took a shot that went over Pugliese’s blocker and just underneath the crossbar and into the net for his sixth goal of the season.
The Titans would tie the game just two minutes later on Danny Dimon’s first goal of the year. After the Titans won the draw deep inside the Black Bears zone, the puck was picked up by Shane Haviland behind the net. Haviland passed it up along the far side boards to Dimon at the top of the face off circle. Dimon skated to the faceoff dot and took a wrister that beat Takacs over the blocker to make it a 2 – 2 game.
At 6:23 into the third period, Kyle Mountain gave the Black Bears a 3 – 2 lead. After Outzen picked up the rebound in Maryland’s near side corner, he sent a pass back to Mac Wiseman at the point, but the puck jumped over his stick and was picked up by Mountain along the boards. Mountain entered the Titans zone on a two-on-one with Andrew Remer. As Mountain skated to the faceoff dot, he took a wrister that beat Pugliese short side.
With 9:21 left in regulation, Maryland’s Mountain was called for hooking to give the Titans the man advantage. As time was winding down on the power play, the puck went back to Ole Andersen at the near side point. Andersen went to pass the puck over to Kyler Head on his right, but it went to far and bounced off the boards and picked up by Jarman. Jarman sent a bounce pass off the far side boards where it was picked up by Reid Leibold at center ice. Leibold entered the Titans zone on a two-on-one with Heidepriem. As Leibold gained the line, he passed the puck to Heidepriem on his right. As Heidepriem went to the net, he faked a shot and deked around Pugliese and hit the back of the open net to close out the scoring.
Pugliese, who played well – particularly on a 5 on 3 in the first period, stopped 44 of 48 shots while Takacs turned aside 38 of 40. Click here for the box score.
The two teams will square off again at 7:00 PM tonight.