This weekend the University of Maryland Terrapins take on rival team, the UMBC Chesapeake Bay Retrievers on home ice. The Terps are riding a four game winning streak, the last two wins being shut-outs with significant offensive presence.
Last weekend’s games against Pitt and the Oct. 3 win against St. Joe’s have proved something to friends and foes alike: this season, the Terps are not backing down. They have produced thirty goals in five games thanks to on-ice chemistry and a team-wide offensive effort.
The Terps aren’t getting complacent according to sophomore forward Sean Pickens. Rather, the team is gearing up to face a rival team that defeated the Terps twice last season.
“…we clearly need to do better this season to stay in the hunt for the MACH South title,” said Head Coach Bill Krampf. “We are expecting a much faster paced game against UMBC, so we will be working on that at practice.”
Of voracious UMBC offensman Ryan Atkinson, who has 26 points in five games, Krampf noted that they’ll have to keep him in check, but he’s not the only player the team needs to neutralize.
The team is confident in both goaltenders, sophomore Tanner MacPhee and rookie Sean Rankin, who have been making tough saves in tight situations thus far this season. They will have to be consistent against UMBC. The team is also on the tail of a three game win streak and sports some very capable defensemen – each of the six has at least three points on the season.
“We just have to stay level headed and make sure that we still make tight sound defense and don't get too confident,” said senior forward Jeffrey Thomas Jaquay.
Friday will be UMBC’s first away game; hopefully, the new territory will shake them out of their groove.
“Looking forward to a great game,” said Krampf.
The game will be Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Gardens Ice House in Laurel.
The Maryland Terrapins are coming off of an excellent weekend of play, walking away with two wins against the Pittsburgh Panthers, winning on Friday 8-0 and on Saturday 5-0.
Both goaltenders, Tanner MacPhee on Friday and Sean Rankin were perfect on the night, earning their shutouts. MacPhee stopped all 13 shots he faced, and Rankin recorded his first career shutout.
“We came out with a lot of intensity, which was something we were planning on,” MacPhee said. “We knew that if we came out strong, we could drive them into the ground. That’s what we did.”
MacPhee also congratulated Eddie Martin on his assist on Friday. The defenseman isn’t known for generating too much offense, but Martin added his second goal of his career on Saturday night.
The offense was in full form on Friday night. 12 different Terps recorded a point. Lucas Davis led the Terps with two goals and three assists. His line mates, Jake Friedland and Avery Clair, were an unstoppable force. Friedland added three assists and a goal to his resume, and Clair tallied two goals and an assist. The line has developed tremendous chemistry with one another.
“We just got put together, like, a week or two ago,” Friedland said. “I played with Davis and Avery a little bit in the past, but in practice, every drill, we just seem to read each others minds. I like to go to the net a little bit more, Davis is good at driving wide with the puck, and Avery more of a finisher. So we all just fill out the needs of the line. It’s working out pretty well.”
That line continued to work well in the second game. Clair opened up the scoring early in the second, and Davis and Friedland helped him out with the assists. The Terps never looked back, and again walked away with the victory.
The second game was a bit more physical than the first, and the highlight hit of the night was from Rob Burns. The big freshman defenseman was knocked from behind. He got up and returned to the defensive zone. A Panther attempted to bring the puck along the left boards, and he was immediately met by Burns with a big open ice check that sent the Panther down.
Another Terp that had himself a night was sophomore forward Michael Finestone. Finestone had been grinding and working hard all season, and finally earned that first career goal on Saturday night.
“Feels great,” Finestone said. “It finally came. It took so long. I just had to frickin put one back in. I wasn’t really getting that many clean shots to the net. But finally, one came.”
The Terps now look to continue their three game winning streak against rival UMBC on both Friday and Sunday.
The Maryland Terrapins face the University of Pittsburgh Panthers back to back on Friday and Saturday nights.
Coming off a landslide victory against St. Joes last week, the Terps have momentum but will need to keep up their aggressive spirit against the win hungry Panthers.
The Panthers are currently 0-2, with both losses at home. The Terps haven’t played Pitt in the last four years, so will need to get a feel for their style of play, according to senior defenseman Jake Kaplan.
“I have total confidence in the guys in our lockerroom. If we play well the rest should take care of itself,” he said.
The Terps proved last weekend that they have no problem producing offense, but according to Head Coach Bill Krampf, will still need to work on transitioning from offense to defense; the only goal St. Joe’s was able to get through rookie goaltender Sam Rankin was off of a breakaway.
“We are getting better each game and have established the identity as a grinding team,” said junior forward Lucas Davis.
According to Davis, the team has focused on “conditioning while also implementing more systems” during practice.
Though they have yet to come out on top, Pitt has four goals total between their two games. The Terps will have to watch out for Pitt’s powerplay kill which is currently operating 77.8% to continue their win streak.
Both games are at 8p.m. at the Gardens Ice House in Laurel.