Daniel Tkac, Tanner Rowe

Johnstown Tomahawks’ Daniel Tkac, left, tries beating Maryland Black Bears’ Tanner Rowe to the puck during a North American Hockey League playoff game at 1st Summit Arena @ Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown, PA., Friday, May 21. 2021.

ODENTON, Md. – Brad McNeil’s goal with 3:07 left in the third period helped the Maryland Black Bears defeat the Johnstown Tomahawks 3-2 on Wednesday to gain a 2-1 lead in the best-of-5 NAHL playoff series.

Conor Cole and Jude Kurtas (two helpers) assisted on McNeil’s tally.

Josh Nixon’s goal off assists from Luke Mountain and Garrett Szydlowski tied the game at 2 for the hosts 1:10 into the third period.

Johnstown led 2-0 in the second period on goals from Brendan Clark and Will Margel (power play). Jay Ahearn assisted on both goals, while Margel added a helper on Clark’s tally.

Hunter McCoy’s goal with 2:21 left in the second period pulled Maryland within 2-1.

Both teams finished with 30 shots on goal. Johnstown’s Sam Evola made 27 saves. Maryland’s Hannes Kollen stopped 28 shots.

Game 4 is at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

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