The ranked foes didn't stop this weekend for Maryland, as they followed their dominant win over #11 Princeton with a road meeting with #15 Villanova. The Wildcats have been a solid team the last few years but appear to be finally making strides this year and they certainly would pose a threat to the Terps. Maryland continued it's strong play however, improving to 5-1 on the year with a 11-2 win.
Maryland made a strong early start with Henry West notching the game's first tally just 37 seconds in. They kept up the pressure after a Charlie Raffa face-off win and after a few shots, with one on cage by Matt Rambo, Bryan Cole put the Terps up 2-0 at 12:30 of Q1. Villanova wouldn't take long to respond and get on the board though, with freshmen Sean Cerrone getting the 'Cats on the board just over 30 seconds later.
The unassisted tallies would continue for the Terps which has been a theme of their offense. Colin Heacock got Maryland's 3rd. The UMD offense was clicking on all cylinders early on. The shots continued to rain in after Raffa's 4th face-off win of the game, and Bobby Gribbin came close to getting the 4th but he hit the pipe. Villanova won the groundball and countered very quickly but Kyle Bernlohr made his first save of the day on Devin McNamara. McNamara would be called for a push not long after giving Maryland the first extra man opportunity of the game. They created a great look in front of the goal for Bryan Cole but Greg Stamatov made a huge save for Nova to keep the game at 3-1.
The 4th of the game for Maryland came from Jay Carlson off an assist from Matt Rambo at 6:27. That was the first assist of the day on a goal for the Terps. The defense continued to be it's usual strong self often forcing Nova into just one shot possessions. The shots kept coming late in the period, a theme of this offense. This would lead to a 5th goal of the game and a second from Jay Carlson after an assist from freshman Connor Kelly.
The Wildcats had a few shots late in the period but only were able to force Bernlohr into one save. After Q1, Maryland led Villanova 5-1. Carlson had two, Cole, West, and Heacock each had a tally as well. Raffa was 5-for-7 on face-offs. Bernlohr made three saves.
The first tally of Q2 was the first tally of the day for Matt Rambo. The assist once again from Connor Kelly. 6-1 Terps. They added on to the lead after another Raffa face-off win with Carlson feeding Dylan Maltz for the latters first of the afternoon at 10:24.
Not long after the midfield got into the action with Joe LoCascio firing one of his vintage bullets into the back of the net. This gave all six starters on offense and defense a goal for the day. The defense was hassling and harrying Nova all over the field and never letting them get into a rhythm on offense.
The pace slowed a bit through the middle of the 2nd with both teams getting a bit sloppy. Neither goalie really had to make a save. The game continued to slow down down the stretch in the 2nd Quarter as well. Maryland's offense had lost some of it's starch from earlier but they weren't letting Villanova get close. The Terps got a few looks at the end of the half but couldn't add to their lead.
Halftime: Maryland 8-1 Villanova. Carlson still led the Terps with two, and six others had one. Raffa was 8-for-11 on face-offs. Bernlohr had made 5 saves.
Raffa won the opening FO of the second half but Maryland only got one shot on their opening possession, with Dan Willis - who came in off the bench - making a stop on Henry West. Less than a minute later the Wildcats broke their 28:54 scoring drought courtesy of Eric Gartner. Maryland's offense wasn't quite able to get into a real groove early in the quarter, but Villanova took a penalty for too many men at 9:12, presenting the Terps with an opportunity to get on the board in the second half.
That opportunity went begging though, and it was Nova who put the Terps under pressure, with Bernlohr forced to make quite a few saves. Maryland took their own penalty with 7 minutes left in the 3Q, a pushing penalty on Bryan Cole. They forced a quick turnover however and easily were able to kill it off. A few minutes later they finally got on the board in Q3, with Rambo cranking one to the top left corner. Connor Kelly had the assist which was his 3rd of the day.
This finally got Maryland going and they began to put tons of shots on Willis' cage but he kept them out. Bernlohr made a save of his own on Jack Curran with seconds running down in the quarter.
After 3, Maryland led 9-2.
The Terps kept up some of the pressure in the early stages of the final frame, but weren't able to create many high quality looks. Most of the shots were either high or wide, very few were on cage.
Matt Rambo scored the first goal of the 4th Quarter, unassisted with 5:32 to go. It gave him another hat-trick on the season. Christian Zawadzki added another - his first career goal - with 1:05 to go to make it 11-2.
Final: Maryland 11-2 Villanova
The Terps defense was incredible, lowering their national-leading goals allowed per game again. Eight different players had goals, with Rambo and Carlson leading with three and two respectively. Maryland is now 5-1 on the year with 3 wins over teams that were ranked at the time they played them.
Maryland will return next Saturday, taking on #2 North Carolina out west in Santa Ana, California.