BLAINE, MN The Blizzard took on the Maryland Black Bears in game three of the 2018 North American Hockey League Showcase in Blaine, MN on Friday night. In a back-and-forth contest, the Black Bears scored the only goal that mattered in overtime and skated away with a 1-0 victory.
David Tomeo got the start in-between the pipes for the Black Bears and put forth one of the best performances in his young career. He faced 25 shots and stopped all the rubber thrown his way.
The first period was a flat period by both teams, as they both traded chances in their respective offensive zones.
A big storyline in Thursday’s victory over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the Blizzard was the success of the line between Luke Aquaro, Sam Antenucci and Haiden Karnick. While they got their chances, the Black Bears defense got in the passing lanes, negated the majority of the cycling opportunities and kept them off the scoreboard.
“Overall, I don’t think we showed up for the first two periods” said Karnick. “We were playing well, but we were not playing our game. We weren’t chipping pucks, getting out speed and just didn’t find ourselves until the third period.”
McLean Dorr got his first start of the season for the Blizzard and even though Brookings left Schwan Super Rink with a loss on the stat sheet, he played a tremendous game, making key saves in the most crucial moments.
He finished the night with 30 saves on 31 Maryland shots.
“It’s kind of strange to play a game like that and still lose,” said Dorr. “You really want to win a game like that. But at the end of the day, I did my thing, even though I still have things I want to work on. I thought it was a good showing but it could always be better.”
The third period consisted of constant whistles and both teams not getting many chances to put the puck in the back of the net.
After 60 minutes, the Black Bears finally slid a shot past Dorr to give them a 1-0 victory.
Luke Posner for Maryland picked up the puck off a strange bounce at the blue line and his wrist shot beat Dorr low glove side. Even in defeat, Dorr sees the upside in his performance. However, he is only focused on getting the win and nothing else moving forward.
“I really saw us winning that game,” said Dorr. “You’re going to get losses every now and then. But I’m here to win and at the end of the day, I have to do everything I can to make that happen.”
The Blizzard finished 0 for 7 on the Power Play in their victory on Thursday against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Against Maryland, that trend continued, as they finished the night 0 for 4 on the man advantage.
“We have to bring it back to the simple things and I think that’s where we got a little lost tonight” said Karnick. Overall as a team, we didn’t prepare well enough for our competitors. We underestimated who we were playing and it showed.”
The Blizzard wrap up the 2018 NAHL Showcase tomorrow against the Kenai River Brown Bears, with puck drop set for 6:00 PM (CST). The game will be broadcasted on Hockey TV.