Photo courtesy of Kaylee Davis
With Penn State making the long trip down to College Park for Friday night’s game, Maryland knew it needed a fast start against the fifth-ranked Nittany Lions.
The Terps did just that, scoring three times in the game’s first five minutes.
“We knew they were going to be slow coming off the bus,” captain Avery Clair said.
Maryland’s early high tempo was offset by a scoreless second period, in which they also surrendered four goals in a 7-5 loss.
“I think we put a good effort in the first and third periods,” Clair said, “but the game is about sixty minutes and I think we lacked that going into the second period.
Nick Keppler opened the scoring for the Terps, finding a loose puck and stashing it into the goal just 35 seconds in. About three minutes later, Avery Clair fed Zach Arden from behind the Penn State goal, who proceeded to beat goalie Mike DeGaetano short side.
The barrage continued when Chris Bouchard fired a low and unsuspecting shot by DeGaetano on an odd-man rush 4:49 into the period.
Early on, the Maryland offense was a stark contrast to last weekend, when the team only scored three goals over two home games and struggled to finish quality scoring chances.
“We [knew] we wanted to come out hard,” Clair said. “We haven’t won a game here at [Herbert Wells Ice Rink] yet and we really wanted to come out hard for the fans.”
Following Maryland’s third goal, Penn State head coach Mo Stroemel used his timeout in an effort to slow the Terps’ rising momentum.
The tactic seemed to work, as Penn State settled in the ice began to shift in their favor. The Nittany Lions finally broke through late in the first, when Abe Edson beat Tanner MacPhee with a shot from the slot.
Maryland answered right back, as Bouchard scored his second goal of the game 29 seconds later to give his team a 4-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
“I thought we had a pretty good first period, not great,” head coach Jim Gaudet said. “Obviously the score was good but I thought we were giving up too many chances in the first.”
Penn State erased the deficit and then took the lead in the second period, twice scoring consecutive goals less than 26 seconds apart.
“I thought it was a good start but you know, second period [we] take a couple shifts off and it cost us hard,” Gaudet said.
After going down by two in the third, Clair blew by his defender and slid the puck under DeGaetano to pull the Terps back within one, only to see Penn State respond 24 seconds later to cap the scoring.
“I mean it’s consistency,” Clair said. “We have to keep it going for all three periods, we need to find our legs and definitely put sixty minutes together.”
Maryland takes the ice again Saturday night, as they host Rider at Laurel Ice Gardens at 9:10 p.m.
Edited by Max Marcilla
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