3rd Period, 41.6 seconds left Terps 5 | Ohio 3 Maryland called for a penalty and Ohio takes a timeout.
3rd Period, 3:34 left Terps 5 | Ohio 3 🚨MARYLAND GOAL!🚨 Miller scores again. He now has consecutive two-goal games.
Maryland’s power play scored three times Friday, lifting the Terps to a crucial 5-3 intra-regional win over Ohio at The Gardens Ice House.
With the two teams separated by less than half a point and on the fringe of the top-10 in the ACHA Southeast Region rankings, Maryland entered Friday’s game well aware of the stakes.
“The way the system works [these] are some of the biggest games of the year,” head coach Jim Gaudet said. “You have to do well in [these] games if you want to be at regionals at the end of the season.”
In their last home game of the semester, the Terps outlasted the Bobcat’s short bench, relying on their depth and skating to control the pace of play and generate scoring chances.
A pair of power-play goals from Nathan Miller and Chris Bouchard allotted the Terps a two-goal lead early in the second period, but consecutive goals from Ohio quickly evened the score, with the tying goal coming on an Ohio 5-on-3 man advantage.
“It got a little undisciplined,” Gaudet said. “With the skilled guys they have on that team, you know they’re going to have a pretty good power play so we wanted to stay out of the box. We got into a little bit of penalty trouble and they capitalized on it.”
Following the second goal, the Bobcats still had 1:44 of power play time to work with, with Benji Weiner still in the penalty box. It was a prime chance for the visitors to capture their first lead, but goaltender Travis Danko and the rest of the Maryland penalty killers shut down the Ohio power-play unit.
Fortunate timing allowed Benji Weiner to exit the penalty box and enter the play to jumpstart a two-on- break, firing a shot on net while falling that trickled through the Ohio goaltender and into the net.
The goal restored Maryland’s lead, which they possessed for the rest of regulation.
Bouchard tallied his second power-play goal of the night in the third period, a time-and-room shot from the left face-off circle. Later in the period, Miller closed out the scoring with a guided wrist shot to the top corner.
Bouchard credited tinkered power-play units and new-found chemistry for the team’s special teams success Friday.
“We know what we’re doing and where everyone else is,” Bouchard said. “So I think it was really chemistry that came through today, especially for our power play.”
The victory not only boosted Maryland’s resume, but also extended Maryland’s current win streak to three games. Saturday the Terps square off against Liberty, a team they beat just three weeks ago.
“These are huge wins,” Weiner said. “Ohio is a good team. Tomorrow we have Liberty. It’s going to be a battle tomorrow night, so it’s good to know we have this win under our belts already.”
Despite earning a win against West Chester Friday night, Maryland was dissatisfied with its performance and aimed to play a more complete game Saturday against George Washington. The Terps did just that, bludgeoning the Colonials 9-1 at The Gardens Ice House.
Maryland led for all but 38 seconds of the 60 minutes played Saturday, getting an opening-shift goal from Nathan Miller. Miller scored again less than 10 minutes later while the Terps were on the power play, sending a pass toward the front of the goal that clicked off a Colonial and into the net.
“We had a pretty slow start yesterday, so we wanted to really come out hard in the first period,” Miller said, referencing the team’s 4-1 road win Friday. “We knew we needed to be better than we were yesterday.”
“I thought we played really well on the forecheck,” said Nick Keppler, who recorded a hat trick Saturday. “Yesterday we were struggling getting that first guy in hard, but I thought we did that right off the bat tonight and scored right on the first shift because of it.”
Miller’s first two goals was all the offense Maryland needed Saturday night, but that didn’t stop them from filling the scoresheet.
Maryland scored two more goals in the first period, three in the second and two in the third, with 11 different Terps recording a point. It was Maryland’s largest win differential of the season, and according to head coach Jim Gaudet, one of their best performances thus far.
“[Tonight] was probably one of our better 60-minute efforts,” he said. “And that’s what I challenged the guys to do.”
Maryland continuously overwhelmed the visiting Colonials with their speed and dogged puck pursuit Saturday. The result was a flurry of odd-man rushes for the Terps and frequent power play opportunities.
“We’re a real good skating team,” Gaudet said. “We have a lot of fast guys and they work hard, they’re well conditioned. That’s something we like to think is one of our advantages.”
With the victory, the Terps move to 12-6-1 on the season and could move up in the Southeast Region rankings following a two-win weekend.
Zack Arden, Joey Zappia, Clark LeDane and John Bruckman also scored for Maryland. Travis Danko made 28 saves, including a penalty-save stop late in the third period.
Maryland prepares for a pair of momentous games next weekend. The Terps will take on Ohio at home Friday night before traveling to Lynchburg, Virginia for a highly-anticipated rematch with Liberty Saturday.
“We had two pretty bad performances the past two games, so we knew we needed to carry some momentum into next weekend because it’s probably our biggest weekend of the season,” Miller said.
Maryland’s late game rally fell short against Rider Friday and their six-game win streak was ended with a 6-3 loss at The Gardens Ice House.
Coming off an emotionally draining game the night prior against Liberty, the Terps came out sluggish against the Broncs, giving up four first-period goals.
“We didn’t come focused for the first period,” head coach Jim Gaudet said. “I was telling the guys in the locker room you can see what can happen in just half a period if you’re not focused.”
Rider added a fifth goal early in the second period on a breakaway, before Maryland began to tilt the ice in their favor.
The Terps responded with two momentous power play goals later in the second, scored by Chris Bouchard and Clark LeDane. Zack Arden earned the primary assists on both goals, finding Bouchard open in the slot and then maintaining possession under pressure along the half wall before setting up Clark LeDane at the point, who picked a corner the top right corner, popping a water bottle in the process. With two power play goals Saturday, Maryland’s man advantage struck four times in two games over the weekend.
“We came back to the locker room, there was a lot of emotion from all the boys,” Bouchard said. “We put ourselves together and came back out focused, went out and tried to do what we had to do.”
In the third period, after consecutive Maryland penalties, the Terps completed a momentum-shifting five-on-three penalty kill, that lead to a Griffin Connolly goal, making the score 5-3.
But in the end, a rocky first period was too much to overcome for Maryland to overcome.
“We got in a deep hole and we did a pretty good job of coming back but in the end it was a little too late,” Gaudet said.
The Terps next play Friday, Dec. 1 at West Chester, followed by a home game against George Washington Dec. 2.