Coming off a strong home opener vs Penn, Maryland met another Philly foe - the Drexel Dragons. The Dragons were a desperate team, entering today's game at 0-3. But after a nice start by Drexel the Terps blew them out the rest of the way and cruised to a W.
Charlie Raffa was back at the X for the Terps, but lost his first two draws. Drexel cashed in on both of their opening possessions, on a step down shot by Joseph Rinaldi and a strong alley dodge and net drive by Mitch de Snoo. 2:23 in and it was already 2-0 Dragons. Maryland started to get into a rhythm over the next few minutes, peppering Will Gabrielsen's goal. It wouldn't be long till the Terps earned themselves an Extra Man Opportunity - the first of the day. Once again they had a few shots on Gabrielsen's cage, but the Drexel goalie stood strong.
Maryland was able to create space for opportunities on the perimeter and for long range shots, but the Drexel D was doing a good job cutting off any lanes towards the net for Matt Rambo or Dylan Maltz. With just under 4 minutes the Terps got another chance at the Man-Up but wasted it with a poor turnover. Drexel gave it right back though and on the quick counter attack, Matt Rambo ripped one past Gabrielsen after a nice passing sequence to get UMD on the board with 3:02 left in Q1.
The Terps pressure continued after a Raffa face-off win with Henry West hitting the crossbar off an alley dodge and Jay Carlson just missing wide as he looked to beat Gabrielsen short side.
After 1, Drexel lead Maryland 2-1.
Maryland scored the opening goal of Q2 as Bryan Cole scored on a strong dodge and jump shot 49 seconds in. Raffa won the ensuing face-off and Maryland used that possession to take the lead with Jay Carlson dodging from behind the cage and bouncing one into the back of the net to give the Terps their first lead of the day.
Drexel followed the two early Maryland tallies with a lengthy possession of their own, and put two quality shots on Kyle Bernlohr's cage but the Terps netminder stopped both. Another EMO followed for the Terps midway through the 2nd after a Drexel offsides call. Early in the Man-Up a scary situation unfolded as Drexel's Jake Kiernan took a powerful Matt Rambo shot right to the face. He was eventually able to walk off under his own power.
The Terps weren't able to cash in as Henry West's shot off a skip pass from LoCascio was saved by Gabrielsen and Drexel cleared. The Dragons got their own EMO a few minutes later but Maryland played some strong zone defense and forced a turnover. Just a few minutes leader Maryland extended the lead courtesy of Jay Carlson once again. After Dylan Maltz just missed on a strong net charge, Carlson picked the ball up quickly and ripped one past Gabrielsen off a question mark dodge and jump shot. At 5:43 of Q2 it was 4-2 Terps.
The Dragons responded well, and controlled the majority of the play for the next few minutes. But, as was a theme of the entire 1st half, there was a disparity of good looks. Maryland gave up nothing easy and stuck to the Drexel attackers very well. Matt Neufeldt took a one minute penalty for slashing late in the first half, giving Drexel a huge opportunity to cut the lead to 1. They only got one shot off though, with Bernlohr making a rather comfortable save and quickly racing to the GB to allow the Terps to clear.
The half ended with Maryland leading 4-2.
Drexel won the opening face-off of the second half but got just a 1 shot possession out of it. On the Terps opening possession they pushed the lead to 3 with a vintage Jay Carlson goal. Carlson caught a rebound off a save and quickly deposited it into the empty net to get himself a hat trick and make it 5-2.
Both teams had various possessions over the next few minutes but all were very similar. Slow progressing and only 1 shot. The Dragons took control of the game around the 10 minute mark, repeatedly extending the possession with good hustle after multiple shots were either wide of Bernlohr's side or the goalie got a piece but wasn't able to corral. After 5-6 minutes of Drexel dominance but no goals, the two teams exchanged turnovers on their next two possessions.
We finally got ourselves the second goal of the 3Q, as Joe LoCascio drove down the alley and sent an absolute rocket to the roof of the net. 6-2 Terps with 2 minutes left in the quarter. Just a couple minutes later - after a Raffa face-off win - Connor Kelly got his first career goal for Maryland on a powerful shot high, in a similar vein to LoCascio's. The lead was now 7-2 with 50 seconds left in Q3.
The Terps weren't done though, as they continued to fire rockets past Gabrielsen. This time it was Joe LoCascio again after another alley dodge. He beat his man down the right alley and stuck one far side to extend the lead to 6.
Maryland hadn't done much of anything on offense for the quarter but a 3 goal surge in the final 2 1/2 minutes gave them a commanding 8-2 lead.
By the start of the 4th Quarter Maryland had held Drexel to 42 minutes straight without a goal. While they continued to hold Drexel scoreless they kept scoring. Dylan Maltz got his first of the afternoon on a question mark dodge and great shot to the far corner. 9-2 UMD.
After forcing a Drexel turnover the Terps broke extremely quickly and Carlson fed Rambo on the doorstep to push the lead to 10-2 early in the 4th Quarter.
Maryland's 11th came with 5:28 left, Bobby Gribbin getting on the board. Even the D got in on the action, as Bryce Young led the charge after a turnover and fired one home. It was Young's first career goal. Drexel's LONG scoreless streak finally ended as a pass deflected off a stick of a Terp and went in.
The final score was Maryland 12-3 Drexel
This was an absolutely dominant defensive performance from the Terps, allowing 1 goal over the final 57:27 and their offense was pretty efficient as well. The Terps improve to 3-1.
They welcome Princeton to Byrd Stadium next Saturday.