After a 4-0 loss on opening night to the Temple Owls, the Terps buckled down and focused on the games ahead. The game last week taught the Terps a little bit about themselves, giving them an identity. The healthy reality check allowed the Terps to really get an understanding of their strengths, and work towards using them to their advantage.
“Last weeks loss to Temple really showed us that we are going to have to be a hard working team,” senior forward Brad Gratton said. “We are not going to be a fancy high scoring team, but rather a team hard working team of grinders that work the systems we practice.”
This blue-collar mentality produces a lot of leaders within the team, and one needed to be chosen as captain. At the beginning of the year, Head Coach Bill Krampf goes over the qualities each player is expected to exemplify throughout the year. They are the same four qualities each year: commitment, attitude, respect and responsibility. The players are expected to honor these qualities both on and off the ice. This year, senior forward Jake Friedland stood out as the leader for the team, and was named captain earlier this week. Senior defenseman Jake Kaplan and junior forward Lucas Davis were chosen as the alternate captains. And like any captain, Friedland maintained his modesty when he was asked about his new title.
“I'm extremely humbled by the captaincy nomination,” Friedland said. “The bar has been set extremely high for this position by our former three year captain, Kevin Norwin, who is probably the best natural leader I have ever met in my life. I have always been a ‘lead by example’ kind of player, and I am not going to change that as Captain. I am going to be joined by two amazing assistant captains in Jake Kaplan and Lucas Davis, who share my enthusiasm for this program and will be a huge part of our team's success this year.”
“We want the rest of our players following someone who models our key tenants, and Jake is that guy,” Krampf added. “And he is also a hell of a hockey player.”
This week in practice, the Terps worked on the weak spots that they saw in their first game. They seemed confident in correcting their mistakes, and knew exactly what they needed to focus on.
“Coach put a big emphasis on forechecking rotation, and specifically our transition from forecheck to backcheck,” Friedland said. “We gave up three goals last week on odd man rushes, and that can not happen in the future.”
The Maryland Hockey Club faces off against Rowan Profs Friday night. This matchup will be Rowan’s first game of the season. Last season, Maryland and Rowan split a two game series. The first game, Maryland traveled to Rowan and lost 4-1, and Davis scored the lone goal for the Terps. But when it was Rowan’s turn to travel to Maryland, the Terps walked away with a 4-3 victory. Current senior Tom Jaquay scored a goal, and current sophomore goaltender Tanner MacPhee recorded the win.
“Rowan is always a very skilled and fast team,” Gratton said. “We are going to have to play tight defense, and capitalize on the chances we get. To win this game, we are going to have to come out fast, hit hard and apply our fore check from the very first shift. The game will take a lot of discipline to win.”
Maryland will look to improve off of their first season loss. And what will it really take to earn Maryland’s first win. Coach Krampf put it in pretty simple terms.
“Goals,” Krampf said. “Can’t win with zero.”
Who? Maryland vs. Rowan
When? Friday, Sept. 26th at 8:00 p.m.
The Terps had only two weeks of practice leading up to their season opener against Temple, but they were eager to get out on the ice to kick off their 2014-2015 campaign. By the end of it, the Owls had found the net four times, and Maryland wasn't able to find it once. The Terps were able to find some positives in the loss.
"We gave up three goals on advances through the neutral zone," Head Coach Bill Krampf said. "One on turnover, one on a guy who blew an assignment, and one on a guy who was hurt in the corner. You take away that, we had a ton of scoring chances down there and just didn't put the puck in the net. We score one of those early, with that crowd, that's a whole different ball game."
Temple goaltender Eric Semborski recorded a shutout in his first game, and he blocked everything the Terps threw at him. Maryland poured on the pressure in the second period, and still couldn't get one by him. Sophomore Avery Clair had one of the better chances of the game on a one timer opportunity on a pass from freshman Ian Patrican, but Clair pushed it just wide. And senior Brandon Cleary added a scoring chance on a breakaway, but wasn't able to get the shot off. Sophomore goaltender Tanner MacPhee was able to bail out his teammates quite a few times on odd man rushes all throughout the game.
One thing the Terps made it clear early that they will be a physical team. Junior Brad Lindquist, senior Tom Jaquay and graduate student Tyler Glaze threw their weight around seemingly every time they stepped on the ice.
"Clearing guys out in front, putting bodies into boards, that's the way we are going to take advantage of teams," MacPhee said. "We are a speedy team too, so if we can get the speed and physicality together, I think we will have a good shot at doing well this season."
The team seems to have an understanding that it will take some time to straighten out the kinks in their game. With time, they have confidence that they will work out their issues on the ice, and it just starts to getting to know each others tendencies.
"We need to focus on our passing and guys just getting open," MacPhee said. "Our passes are a little sloppy right now, and I think that just comes with the team meshing. As soon as the chemistry goes up, I think that will get sorted out."
The University of Maryland Division 2 Club hockey team opens up their 2014-2015 campaign this Friday at The Gardens Ice House. They face one of their top rivals in the Temple Owls.
The opening games story will surely be the Terps new uniforms, which created buzz around the hockey world when they were introduced to the public on Aug. 22. The white home jerseys bare the modern Maryland Pride shoulders with the flag, and the word "Terps" around the front. The away blacks have a similar design with the revamped Maryland "M" on the front.
"We really appreciate the design that Rebirth Sports created and are excited to represent Maryland in style," junior forward Lucas Davis said.
The new season brings lots of new faces to the Maryland hockey club. 10 players from last season graduated, including defenseman and team captain Kevin Norwin, and two of the three top scorers in Dom Cuomo and Adam Altieri. The team has added their replacements, including sophomore goaltender Sean Rankin, sophomore forward Michael Finestone and junior forward Casey Meadows, who all played for Maryland's Division 3 team last season. There is a a difference between Division 3 to Division 2, but Meadows isn't worried about it.
"There has definitely been a change in pace of play from D3 to D2," Meadows said. "But besides that, it hasn't been too big of an adjustment. I think playing D3 has prepared me, Finestone, and Rankin for this season."
"The rookies are coming up to speed quickly," Head Coach Bill Krampf said. "They have a lot to absorb in a short period of time, but they are good players that have come from good programs or moving up from our D3 team, so our foundation is there for them to adapt to our systems."
The team has had four practices before the season, where the primary focus has been on just getting acclimated to the new systems, including breakouts and power plays. Everyone understands it is difficult to judge how a team looks without facing an opponent.
"You just can't tell until we put on the sweaters and play the first game," Krampf said. "Then we'll have a better read. I stopped trying to figure out how good we are coming out of tryouts because we are only measuring against ourselves, which isn't a measure at all."
But the team has worked hard off the ice as well.
"Off the ice we have been running workouts to make sure everyone is in shape for the first game," Davis said. "Our dedication during these workouts is going to give us an edge against our opponents. We also have been hanging out as a team to build team chemistry and get to know all of the new guys on the team."
The hard work will be tested against Temple. The Terps opened up last season against Temple as well, and they walked away with a 6-5 overtime victory. Davis recorded four goals, and current sophomore Avery Clair added two of his own. The two will again be relied on to produce offense for the team. Grinders Jacob Friedland and Brandon Cleary added two assists each, and both will be returning this season. They faced off against Temple later in the season, and again the game went into overtime in a 2-1 thriller. Clair led the team to victory with his 2 goals, and returning sophomore goaltender Tanner MacPhee stopped 42 of 43 shots.
Temple finished just two points ahead of Maryland last season, with a 12-10-0 record. Top Temple scorer Stephen Kennedy returns for the Owls. He scored 31 goals and 15 assists in 26 games last season. The team also has Cody Vassa and Joe Pisko returning, who finished last season with 32 and 23 points, respectively.
The University of Maryland Hockey Club is expecting another hard battle to open up their season. The game will test their conditioning and overall play in against an rival, and it projects to be another great game.
"They are always close to us in the rankings and I expect a tough and close game," Davis said. "It's going to come down to who is more prepared and in better shape. We have worked hard the past two weeks and we are prepared to face Temple."
Who? Maryland vs. Temple
When? Friday, Sept. 19 at 8:00 p.m.
Where? The Gardens Ice House