After a promising start to the season, the University of Maryland hockey team is riding a three game losing streak, but looking to bounce back against the Virginia Tech Hokies and St. Joseph’s University Hawks in back to back games this weekend.
The Terps trip to Philadelphia last week returned unfavorable results, but the team has been working hard to maintain their offensive prowess and lessen chances for the other team to score. In order to do so, the team has implemented a few solutions throughout practice this week.
“We had a couple things that were breaking down last weekend we needed to fix,” said Head Coach Bill Krampf. “You can't continue to give up scoring chances to teams in the MACH and expect to win. We will be better in that area.”
Tonight, the Terps take on the Hokies – a team who handed Maryland two defeats in the 2013-14 season. Virginia Tech currently holds a 4-8-0 record and is lead offensively by forward Alexander Hashimi who has seven goals and five assists in 12 games. Right behind him, and often producing in tandem, are defenseman Alec Burgman and forward Doug MacDonald who have ten and nine points respectively. MacDonald also has a mean streak; the defensemen has an impressive 32 PIMs in 12 games.
The Hokies have four potential goaltenders to choose from, but Saturday’s best bet will be either Walker Detweiler or Tanner Jones .876 and .885 SV% respectively.
The Terps strategy to beat Virginia Tech?
“Outscore them,” said Krampf.
Maryland faced St. Joes earlier in the season and absolutely demolished the then broken team 13-1. It’s been nearly a month since that night but, the St. Joeseph’s team continues to struggle. They are 2-9-0 so far this season and have lost most of their games in a spectacular fashion. In their eleven games, opponents have scored an average of eight goals against the Hawks. Their losses register an average deficit of almost seven goals.
This is not to say that the Hawks won’t be ready; the team is healthier and now has its top players ready to start. Forward Dean Keeney leads the team in points with 20 in 11 games. After Keeney, offensive production really drops off, though according to Krampf, every skater in a non-Maryland jersey is a focus, regardless of statistical domincance.
Expect defensemen Tyler Garcia and Mitchell McIlheny to play with a healthy dose of aggression – the pair both have over 20 penalty minutes on the season. The Hawks will start either Matthew McGarvey or Christopher D’Alessio who have .789 and .821 SV% respectively.
“Coach Walsh will have his guys prepared especially playing in their barn,” said Krampf.
The University of Maryland will take on Virginia Tech tonight at 8 p.m. at Gardens Ice House in Laurel, Md.
The University of Maryland will take on St. Joeseph’s Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Skatium in Haverford, Pa.
The Terrapins fell 3-1 and 6-3 to out of state rivals Rider and Temple respectively in back to back games over the weekend.
“Obviously the weekend didn't go the way we hoped,” said senior defenseman Jake Kaplan.
On Friday, the Terps traveled to the Northeast SkateZone in Philadelphia, Pa. They lost to the Temple Owls 3-1, allowing a goal per period before the Clair, Davis, Friedland line answered with a goal of their own in the third.
The Owls dictated the pace of the game; they made 40 shots on goal, almost double the number of Maryland chances. Temple goaltender Eric Semborski, who shut out the Terps in their last meeting, fought off twenty-four shots and is credited with the win.
“We had a ton of chances early and we couldn’t finish,” said Kaplan. “We know what kind of game to expect from them and it just comes down to executing our systems and playing the way we are capable.”
Two of the three Temple goals are credited to Stephen Kennedy, their top offensive producer. Kennedy is currently seventeenth in the league for points and has 17 goals in 14 games. Drew Brewer also scored against the Terps.
Players from both teams spent a combined 26 minutes in the penalty box – a sign of the competitive spirit. Saturday’s contest was equally aggressive – the teams worked through 16 power plays, though neither Rider nor Maryland capitalized on those chances.
“The game got physical right away and I think we lost focus on playing hockey a little bit there,” Kaplan said. “These kinds of games happen over the course of the season.”
The Terps produced offensively but couldn’t keep the Broncs away from the net; they registered 31 shots on goal, six of which found the back of the net. Sophomore goaltender Tanner MacPhee played 40 minutes before Sean Rankin took his place in the third.
“Hopefully we get this weekend out of our system quick and get ready to go for Virginia Tech Friday night,” Kaplan said. “Really important weekend coming up.”
The University of Maryland hockey team is off to a hot start this season, with five wins in their last seven games, much different than their three and four start just last year. The Terps hope to continue their winning ways this weekend, playing Temple University tonight and Rider University on Saturday. The team sounds confident in the way they’ve been playing hockey.
“These guys have been very hungry this year,” Head Coach Bill Krampf said. “They have not taken anything for granted. They have worked their butts off every shift at every game. We just need to keep that up.”
Defenseman Brad Lindquist, who was a part of the University of Maryland Division 2 team last year, took notes on the team’s situation last year, and is making sure the same mistakes don’t happen again. Last years team just barely missed out on the playoffs.
“We have recognized from last year that every game counts,” Lindquist said. “We missed the playoffs by one point and we realized that a win from the beginning of the season would have solidified a playoff spot. We realize that it is important to capitalize on points from the first game to the last game.”
That mindset has certainly been exemplified early on in the season. The team is getting contributions from all of its forward units. While the team has relied heavily on forwards Lucas Davis (7 goals, 9 assists), Jake Friedland (2 goals, 8 assists) and Avery Clair (7 goals and 3 assists), all apart of the top line, they are getting significant contributions from the next three lines. In fact, 20 different players have recorded at least one point. If one line isn’t contributing offensively, it makes sure that they are the shutdown line. If one line isn’t the shutdown line, they make sure to grind and win pucks in the corners. Even the defensemen have gotten in on the offensive action. The only defenseman without a point? Patrick Havey, but that’s not his style of play anyway. He makes sure to contribute by playing extremely physical defense. The depth has contributed mightily to this teams overall record.
“Depth is so crucial for any team, “ Lindquist said. “Our first line has been producing the points, however, the other lines have set them up to do so. We have four very strong lines that can play and grind down any other teams line. Not only can every line play, but rotating four lines gives every other line more rest. This may not be important in the first and second periods, but that extra rest will definitely affect the performance of the lines in the third period. The third period is where games are won and lost so it is crucial that we have rested lines ready to go and close out the game.”
Maryland will look to get some revenge on Temple. Maryland opened up its season with a 4-0 loss to the Owls.
Temple University has started off pretty well, splitting their 12 games with six wins and six losses. And they are tough to beat at home, starting off the year 4-0. The Terps will look to shutdown Stephen Kennedy, who already has 14 goals and six assists in just 12 games. He’s generally fed the puck by Cody Vassa, who has four goals and 10 assists in 12 games. Joining them at the top of the Owls leaders is Brady O’Donnell, who has eight goals and five assists in 12 games. It’s not yet known whether they will roll with Eric Semborski or Scott Salamon in the crease. Semborski recorded the shutout the last time these two teams played, and has since recorded a .905 save percentage. Salamon, the teams second goaltender, has a .869 save percentage.
Much like Temple, Rider has fairly split their games as well, holding a 5-3-0 record. Rider is led offensively by Patrick Grilli, who has nine goals and six assists in just eight games. Right behind him is Christopher Daley, who has 11 points in seven games, and Andrew Heinz and Michael Katz both have six points in eight games. Rider can roll with either Nathan Kholodenko, Michael Haggerty or Ryan Dajczak in net. Primary goaltender Kholodenko has a .900 save percentage in 8 games. In Haggerty's lone game, he recorded a .800 save percentage and gives up 7.14 goals per game on average. Dajczak has yet to play this season for Rider.
The two road games will prove to be difficult for Maryland. It’s their first away-away matchup over a two day period this season. But away trips help the guys grow as a team, both on and off the ice.
“This weekend to be a great test whether not we can take games on the road,” Krampf said. “Temple and Rider are both tough at home, so we will need to bring our A+ game this weekend if we plan to have success.”
“It’s nice to travel with the team and hang out with them for two days,” Lindquist said. “Its great bonding time and, honestly, you’re only focused on the games that you’re are playing in that weekend, so it keeps you focused.”
Who? Maryland (5-2-0) vs. Temple (6-6-0), Maryland vs. Rider (3-2-0)
When? Tonight, 7:45 and Tomorrow 8:00