On a chilly and dry Sunday evening in College Park, the Maryland Terrapins played their first home game in a month, putting on a show for the fans as they rolled over the Scarlet Knights 17-9. The win improved Maryland to 10-0 (3-0 B1G) while the loss drops Rutgers to 10-2 (2-1 B1G). Maryland now leads the all-time series 33-1 and has won 14 straight against Rutgers.
1st Half Action
After a scoreless first couple of minutes, the Terrapins would net five goals in three minutes and effectively put the game out of reach. Logan Wisnauskas, the all-world attackman, scored Maryland’s 4th and 5th goals. Wisnauskas would go on to set Maryland’s all time scoring record, surpassing Jared Bernhardt. He currently sits at 291 points and should easily surpass 300 by season’s end.
Rutgers showed signs of life midway through the 1st quarter as the defense appeared to settle in and the Knights finally found the back of the net. Shane Knobloch and Mitch Bartolo scored less than a minute apart to pull the Knights within 5-2 and offer Rutgers fans a glimmer of hope.
The 2nd quarter started off on a positive note as Knobloch notched an unassisted goal less than a minute in to pull the Knights within 6-3. The Terrapins would then effectively squash any thoughts of a comeback by outscoring the Knights 5-1 for the remainder of the quarter and taking a commanding 11-4 lead into the locker room.
2nd Half Action
After a scoreless first four minutes of the 3rd quarter, Nick Teresky lit the lamp for the Knight’s 5th goal. Another three scoreless minutes would pass before the Terps scored the next five goals for a commanding 15-5 lead heading into the final frame.
With Maryland subbing in the backups in the 4th, the Knights would outscore them 4 goals to 2. Final score: MD 17 RU 9.
There were a couple things that could not happen early on for RU to have a legitimate chance at an upset:
- Don’t fall behind big early.
- Hold their own in the face-off circle.
Neither of these happened as Rutgers would wind up winning only 8 of 30 face-offs and fall behind in the first five minutes, 5-0. One area that Rutgers cannot seem to find any consistency in is the face-off play. The only consistent thing about Jonathan Dugenio’s game is his incredible lack of consistency. He was just 1 for 8 on face-offs and was pulled for Sam Stephan, who would go just 6 of 18. Michael Ott would win 1 of 2 and freshman Luke Romanek would lose both his chances. I give credit to coach Brecht for not sticking with something that isn’t working and giving multiple players an opportunity. The problem is, Rutgers just does not have that elite face-off specialist that can keep them in these high pressure matchups. The defense already appeared rattled early on in the game and after Maryland kept winning face-off after face-off, any casual fan could see the toll taken on the defensive unit.
What This Means
Maryland is primed once again to win the regular season Big Ten championship. They dominated this game and showed how large the gap currently is between everyone else and the Terps in the conference. I’m certainly not surprised Rutgers lost but I am disappointed they were not more competitive. Instead, the Knights become the latest 2022 team to be run over by the Terrapin Steamroller.
Rutgers will have to go back to the drawing board and prepare to face a Wolverines team in Ann Arbor this Saturday that is 0-3 in conference, has lost five consecutive games, and will be honoring their seniors.
The Knights simply can’t afford to hang their heads and need to rebound strongly like we witnessed earlier in the season after the first loss to Princeton. A win Saturday vs. UM and then the following Saturday vs. PSU would guarantee Rutgers second place in conference and a first round bye for the B1G tournament for the second consecutive season.
“Maryland is a great team, they are the number one team in the country for a reason. They are a very talented team. They made us pay for a lot of mistakes. We have to get better if we aspire to be at that level. I love this team, I think we have some talented players, but we have to get better with everything we’re doing, especially in tough games like this.”
Head Coach Brian Brecht
Rutgers, now No. 7 (media poll and RPI), is back on the road this coming weekend. The Scarlet Knights will head to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan on Saturday. That game will be at noon, airing on ESPNU.