Rivalry Revisited: A Historical Perspective on the Maryland Black Bears

Maryland Black Bears

The Maryland Black Bears, a junior ice hockey team based in Odenton, Maryland, have emerged as one of the top teams in the United States Hockey League (USHL) since their inception in 2018. The team, owned and operated by the Black Bear Sports Group, has quickly gained a loyal fan base and has created intense rivalries with other teams in the league. With the new season looming, it’s the perfect time to revisit some of the most important matchups in the Maryland Black Bears’ history and take a closer look at the historical context behind these intense rivalries.

The Road to Rivalries

The USHL, considered one of the top junior leagues in the world, has been a breeding ground for future hockey superstars. It also serves as a stepping stone for young players hoping to make it to the National Hockey League (NHL). The Maryland Black Bears joined the league in 2018, becoming only the third team from the East Division to do so. The team was an instant hit with fans, and it wasn’t long before they established themselves as a formidable force on the ice.

With their success and popularity, it wasn’t long before rivalries were formed. The Black Bears have a history of intense matchups with teams like the Johnstown Tomahawks, the New Jersey Titans, and the Northeast Generals. But perhaps their most heated rivalry is with the Jamestown Rebels, a team that has been a thorn in the side of the Black Bears since day one.

Maryland Black Bears vs. Jamestown Rebels

The Black Bears’ rivalry with the Rebels began on the opening day of the 2018-2019 season when the two teams faced off in a highly anticipated match. The game was a back-and-forth battle, with both teams fighting hard for a win. However, it was the Rebels who emerged victorious with a 5-4 overtime win. This loss set the tone for what would become a fierce rivalry between the two teams.

The intense matchups between the Black Bears and the Rebels have not only been fueled by their on-ice performances but also by the historical context behind the two teams. The Jamestown Rebels, formerly known as the Philadelphia Rebels, were formerly a Philadelphia-based team that moved to Jamestown, New York, in 2018. The move was met with quite a bit of backlash from fans, especially those in Maryland. This relocation, along with the intense on-ice battles, has solidified the rivalry between the two teams.

Maryland Black Bears vs. Johnstown Tomahawks

The Black Bears’ rivalry with the Johnstown Tomahawks dates back to their very first season in the USHL. The Tomahawks, one of the oldest teams in the league, have a rich history and a loyal fan base. The Black Bears’ rise to success in their debut season was met with hostility from the Tomahawks and their fans, leading to a physical and intense rivalry between the two teams.

Their first season matchup saw the Black Bears dominating the Tomahawks with a 6-0 win, but this only fueled the Tomahawks’ determination to defeat their new rivals. The following season saw a different outcome, with the Tomahawks defeating the Black Bears in their first two meetings. However, the Black Bears bounced back and won their final two matchups, ending the season with an even 3-3 record.

Maryland Black Bears vs. New Jersey Titans

The rivalry between the Black Bears and the New Jersey Titans may be a relatively recent one, but it has quickly become one of the most heated matchups in the USHL. The Titans, based in Middletown, New Jersey, have been in the league since 2011 and have been a formidable team season after season. However, the Black Bears have proven to be a tough opponent for the Titans and have consistently given them a run for their money.

In their first season matchup, the Black Bears proved to be too much for the Titans, winning 5-1. This set the tone for their future matchups, with both teams fighting for control of the East Division. In the 2019-2020 season, the Black Bears recorded four wins against the Titans, cementing their rivalry as one of the most exciting and intense in the USHL.

Final considerations

The Maryland Black Bears may be a relatively new team in the USHL, but they have quickly established themselves as a strong and competitive force. Their success on the ice, along with their passionate fan base, has led to intense rivalries with other teams in the league. The battles between the Black Bears and the Jamestown Rebels, the Johnstown Tomahawks, and the New Jersey Titans have provided hockey fans with thrilling matchups and added another layer of excitement to the USHL.


Maryland Black Bears,


United States Hockey League (USHL)