An in-state rivalry always means something, especially between two historic programs like Maryland and Navy, no matter the circumstances surrounding it. The Midshipmen have had a tough year, and have come oh so close to beating in-state rivals Loyola and Hopkins. This would of been a great way to end it, but it was the Terps coming out on top and sealing a home NCAAT game next weekend by doubling up the Mids 12-6.
Charlie Raffa won the opening face-off for Maryland and took it right down, but his shot went wide. The Terps turned it over soon after however, wasting their opening possession of the ball game. Navy would turn it over on their own possession and the Terps broke quickly with defenseman Casey Ikeda getting the opening goal! Raffa committed a violation on the ensuing FO and Navy went back to work on offense. The Midshipmen would take advantage, with Tucker Hull scoring the opener for Navy. The Terps next goal came with 9:27 left, through Connor Cannizzaro.
The Terps won the next FO and Rambo quickly tested John Connors in the Navy cage, but Connors made the save. The Midshipmen's turnover woes continued, and it led to an opportunity for Jay Carlson, getting more playing time today, but Connors was again up to the task. Navy took a time-out with 7:46 left and came out of it sharp with two shots, but neither made it on cage - blocked and wide respectively. The refs hit Navy with a timer on with 5:37 left, and Michael Ehrhardt forced a TO. After a GB pick-up by Casey Ikeda, John Tillman called a TO to help his defenseman against the Navy ride.
After some patient ball movement on the Terps next possession, Connors stopped Henry West's shot with 4:08 left, but Jay Carlson was there for the GB in front and immediately stuck it in the net to make it 3-1 UMD. Maryland's next possession ran 3 minutes+ with shots from Rambo, Cannizzaro, and Rustin Bryant (who was celebrating Senior Day). It culminated with Rambo finally getting on the board with 1:12 left to put the Terps up 3. Rambo struck again with 8 seconds left to cap a fantastic opening period for Maryland, up 5-1
Maryland won the opening FO of the second on a violation by Brady Dove of Navy. The Terps cashed in with a patented long-range snipe from Joe LoCascio 1:06 in. Navy committed another violation on their next FO, which sent Maryland to an Extra Man Opportunity (EMO). Navy played solid defense however, and Pat Kiernan forced a TO on Joe LoCascio. The Mids cashed in on the opportunity, through T.J. Hanzsche 3:04 into the 2Q. Maryland responded quickly however, with Carlson notching his 2nd a minute and change after.
Navy got their 3rd with 8:00 left, Pat Kiernan with the Midshipmen tally. The Mids won the ensuing FO and called TO with 7:41 left. Off the TO, Navy's Kevin Wendel forced a save from Niko Amato, and Casey Ikeda grabbed the GB for UMD. The Terps picked up the pace on their next possession, and John Connors made a good save on Joe LoCascio with just over 5 minutes left.
The Mids scored soon after with Tucker Hull getting his 2nd with 4:28 left. After another violation by Dove on the FO, Maryland went to a 30 second EMO. The Terps came close, with Mike Chanenchuk - playing limited minutes- shooting high, and Matt Rambo hitting the post. Navy went on offense after some good GB play, and worked 4 shots but none came on target, and Goran Murray came up with the GB but a hold by Niko Amato sent Navy to the 30 second EMO. The Terps killed off the penalty, and John Tillman would call TO, with :49 left to settle down a rattled Maryland team. The Terps preserved the lead for the remaining 49 seconds, and took a 7-4 lead to the locker room.
Maryland opened the 3rd with a bang, with Charlie Raffa scoring right off the draw. Raffa won the next FO, but turned it over, and Bryan Cooper got called for a hold which sent Navy to a 30 second EMO. Amato made a save on Hinderland, and some good GB play gave the ball back to the Terps. That was all for naught, as Navy got it right back, but Amato again made a good save, this time on on Hull, before Hanzsche got the GB. Amato was forced to make yet another big save, this time on Patrick Keena, and John Tillman called a TO under intense Navy pressure.
The Midshipmen pressure continued out of the TO, but Niko Amato was again big in cage, stopping Tucker Hull and the Terps cleared successfully. Maryland's next possession saw shots from LoCascio and Rambo, but both went wide, and Matt Rees forced a TO off Jay Carlson that sprung a Navy counter. It nearly ended successfully, but Zack Hirsch hit the post. The intensity and back and forth play picked up, and it culminated with Rustin Bryant scoring on Senior Day with 6:42 left to put the Terps up 5.
The Mids got the next tally with 4:40 left, from Patrick Durkin. The Navy pressure continued, forcing a TO off the FO and testing Amato in the cage again, but in the words of commenter NeonParkTerp it was "Just another typical day for Niko".
The Terps got some chances at the end of the 3rd but couldn't cash in, and took a 9-5 lead to the 4th.
The opening of the 4th saw some sustained pressure both offensively and without the ball on the ride from Maryland. Both teams turned it over multiple times in the opening minutes, before Casey Ikeda caused a CT-GB to slow own the pace. The Terps blew that opportunity though, with Rustin Bryant turning it over right after the successful clear. Navy would get called for an unnecessary roughness penalty almost right after, and a 1 minute EMO would be on tap for the Terps. However, that was offset by a slash by Jay Carlson, keeping up the frenetic pace of the final frame.
The opening goal came at the 6:12 mark, with Austin Heneveld cutting Maryland's lead to 3. Maryland responded with a patient possession, extending it after shots by Rambo and Bryant, which were saved and hit the post respectively. With 6:53 left, Bryant turned it over for the 2nd time in the quarter, giving Navy the chance to cut the lead to two. The Midshipmen called timeout with 6:36 left, looking to make a run. Navy got a big opportunity out of the TO, but Amato yet again made a big save, and Goran Murray picked up the GB to give the Terps the ball back with 5:10 left.
After a patient Maryland possession, Joe LoCascio ripped a shot by Connors for his 2nd, Maryland's 10th, and the goal that likely iced the win. The Terps finished strong, with Colin Heacock and Kevin Forster scoring with under a minute left - empty net and long range respectively - giving Maryland 7 goalscorers on the day.
This was a very solid win for Maryland. The defense was very solid as usual, holding Navy to just 6 goals. But the offense was very strong. They had 7 different goalscorers, and scored 3 more goals than the Midshipmen allow on average. This was never going to be an easy last game before the NCAAT, but Maryland played well and won, moving them to 11-3 and in line for a home game next weekend.
Selection Sunday is tomorrow night. We will have a H2W post up in the morning, and then a post immediately after the release of the bracket.