After a disheartening weekend that saw the Terps walk away with two losses, Maryland looks to get right back on track against Delaware and Georgetown.
With the Terps failing to score a single goal in either of the two games, the focus of practice this week was pretty clear: generating offense. Head Coach Bill Krampf thought that while the team played well defensively last weekend, you can’t win games with no offensive production.
“Virginia Tech and Liberty are good clubs and we did a good job limiting good scoring chances,” Krampf said. “On the flip side we posted a double goose egg last weekend on our side of the scoreboard. We don't beat Delaware of Georgetown this weekend if we don't score.”
The team plays so well defensively because it has full trust in their goaltending, no matter if it is Tanner MacPhee or Sean Rankin between the pipes. MacPhee had a huge weekend, posting a .947 save percentage in both games. And while Rankin gave up three quick goals in the first period against Virginia tech, it was very much a fluke game. Rankin has a 6-1-0 record this season, and has the 10th best goals against average in the ACHA, according to achahockey.org.
“On any hockey team the guys play better when they trust the guy between the pipes,” Krampf said. “We are very fortunate to have Tanner and Sean in net this year. They have both played very well and the boys have confidence they will make the saves they need to make.”
While the team struggled offensively this past weekend, generating offense hasn’t been much of an issue all season. Only one player on the roster has yet to record a point, and six different players have more than 10 points on the year. Add that to the physical defensive play, it’s a team that can out work any opponent. The highly aggressive defensive play is headlined by hard-nosed defenseman Ian Patrican, whose 23 penalty minutes is second on the team. Add that to the large statures of Eddie Martin, Sean Walsh and Rob Burns, and mix in the destructive forwards Tyler Glaze (leading the team with 28 penalty minutes) Avery Clair (22 penalty minutes), Jake Friedland and Brad Gratton (each with 14 penalty minutes), it is difficult to generate offensive against them, considering they can mostly be found on different lines.
The two losses last week didn’t help out Maryland’s playoff chances, and every win from here on out counts.
“Friday is a must win in order to make the MACH South playoffs so that is our focus at this point,” Krampf said. “I am less worried about rankings right now than I am league playoffs.”
Maryland has already played both Delaware and Georgetown this season. They beat Delaware 5-2 on Dec. 6. Clair recorded two goals, and Sean Pickens, Tom Jaquay and Casey Meadows each added a goal of their own. Maryland also found themselves on the winning side of the Georgetown game in a 4-3 overtime thriller.
Tonight is Senior Night for the Terps, and the team will celebrate with a pre game ceremony for those graduating. The team features seven seniors, all of whom have left a big mark on the team.
“I hate senior night,” Krampf said. “I know it is time for these guys to graduate and get a real job. But it takes four years for them to figure out how to tie their skates and not screw up my drills, and then they graduate. We will have a new batch to teach next year. Hopefully they are quicker than the guys moving on this year. I will miss every one of them.”
Maryland plays Delaware tonight at 8:00 p.m. at Herbert Wells. The Georgetown game is away.
Two back to back games after a long break offered the Terps a chance to continue a push towards regionals this past weekend, but Maryland was blanked in both matchups, 4-0 against Virginia Tech, 3-0 against Liberty.
“We were short handed for both games due to injuries and personal conflicts but as we discussed, we were not going to make any excuses,” Head Coach Bill Krampf said. “The seven week break showed up early in the first period against Virginia Tech as we spotted them three goals very early in the first. The rest of the game was a 1-0 contest. We were outshot but the guys settled in and played better hockey.”
The second game didn’t work out much better.
“We gave up one in the first and nothing in the second so we were down 1-0 against one of the best teams in the region,” Krampf said. “Unfortunately we got a couple bad bounces in the third and ended up losing 3-0. I liked our execution against Liberty but we couldn't finish around their net. Hopefully better in that department this weekend.”
“(We) played sound in the defensive zone but just couldn't take advantage of the opportunities we got,” Sean Pickens said. “Tanner played unbelievable and made a few big time stops to keep us in the game.”
MacPhee faced a flurry of shots this weekend, and managed to record 71 saves on 75 shot attempts, good for an excellent .947 save percentage on the weekend.
The Terps hope a week back on campus gets them right back into their regular routine. Maryland is set to face the University of Delaware this Friday, and face an away matchup on Saturday.
After a long winter break, the University of Maryland Hockey team returns to action this weekend with a game tonight against Virginia Tech, and a tough matchup Friday against Liberty.
Captain Jake Friedland enjoyed his time off. Friedland studied abroad in Australia for three weeks.
“I ate Kangaroo, went scuba diving, hiked through the rainforest,” Friedland said. “It was a blast, but I made sure to get some good runs in while there.”
The team was expected to stay in shape over break, but having a seven week block without games is difficult. While guys still can run, skate and lift on their own, it’s difficult to simulate actual game speed.
“I don't like the long break,” Head Coach Bill Krampf said. “It's good to get a breather every now and then. But seven weeks off is too long between practices and games. It will definitely take the guys a little time to get the rust off. Hopefully practices this week will have us prepared for two tough games against Liberty and Virginia Tech.”
But a long break like that does have its benefits…some guys can take the time to rest up those sore bodies.
“The one good thing about a break that size is that it gives the team a chance to get healthy,” Friedland said. “It also gives you the feeling of a fresh start, what we did last semester is over and we have a chance to win some big games in the next few weeks. I think it's good to get the two games in quickly, because the season is winding down and we need to get back in the game mindset sooner rather than later.”
And Maryland has two tough matchups this weekend in Virginia Tech and Liberty. Maryland has already played both teams earlier in the season, losing both matches.
Virginia Tech has had an excellent season so far, with 12 wins and 10 losses on the season, good for 13th in the Southeast Division. The Hokies are led offensively by Alexander Hashmi, who has 14 goals and 19 assists in 23 games. Doug MacDonald is right behind him, with 14 goals and 14 assists in 23 games. Alec Burgman is their primary setup man, he leads the team with 21 assists. Burgman, MacDonald and Hashmi scored five of the six goals they put up against Maryland in the game on Halloween night.
An even more difficult matchup comes up against Liberty on Saturday. Liberty’s 14 wins and seven losses put them in 9th in the Southeast Division. Their last game against Maryland came at the end of November. Maryland found themselves down 3-1 after two periods, and then surrendered an early third period goal. A strong effort from Brandon Cleary and Lucas Davis found Maryland right back into the game, but the Terps could not muster any more offense, and surrendered two more goals in the 6-3 loss. Liberty’s Caleb Grow recorded a hat trick in the matchup, but it is Paul Ingles who Maryland needs to look out for. Ingles is 12th in scoring with 54 points in the entire second division.
As the season begins to wind down to a close, all eyes shift towards the Southeast Division rankings. The top 15 teams qualify for regionals, and after the break, Maryland finds themselves in that 15th spot. While the voting for the rankings isn’t an exact science, Maryland would prefer to win out, as they know better than anyone, every vote counts.
“The previous two years, our final ranking position has come down to one vote,” Friedland said. “Last year we were a vote short and didn't make it, the previous year we got in by a vote and ended up going to Nationals. Anything can happen.”
“It's good to see we are still in ranking consideration,” Krampf said. “I think we would all like to see ourselves higher, but a couple more wins would've helped that case. Remember that we replaced 10 guys from last year’s team. We still have some things to work on but need a couple key wins in the second half to qualify for regionals.”
It takes hard work to qualify for regionals, and diving right into two quick tests is a great way to start. It also gives everyone the chance to prove they didn’t slack off during break.
“Friday night will tell whether not they worked out or sat around eating Christmas cookies,” Krampf said.
Both Games Are Away This Weekend