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.”
Tag(s): UMD D2 Terps