The game began at a very slow pace, with both offenses taking very long and deliberate possessions. The Terps looked shaky from the start, with some bad stickwork and spacing problems. Carolina’s Ben Hunt started the scoring when he ripped a shot past Alford almost 6 minutes into the game. About five minutes later, a failed Maryland clear ended in a goal, when UNC’s Sean Link dumped a feed into McElduff who put the Heels up two.
After controlling the next faceoff, Carolina ate some clock and eventually got another nice shot from Hunt. Alford made a nice save and Maryland’s Ryan Lang came up with the loose ball and cleared it. However, the Terps were unable to maintain possession long, as Tim Kaiser caused a turnover, scooped up the gb, and cleared the ball. Following a timeout by the Terps to catch their breath on defense, UNC’s Nick Tintle dodged and scored to make the score 3-0 Heels. Carolina controlled the next faceoff, and scored the fourth goal of the quarter with 0:14 on the clock when Michael Burns beat Alford on an unassisted effort.
Following a slashing penalty against Carolina’s Billy Staines, UMD’s lethal man-up unit finally got the Terps on the board. Healy fed Xander Ritz who fired a blistering underhand shot into the top right corner. Carolina answered quickly, when Michael Burns fired a feed past a sleeping Terp defenseman to a cutting Bart Wagner, who converted a four yard look to push the Carolina lead to 5-1. Just over a minute later, at the 6:54 mark, Burns scored on another unassisted goal, to make the game 6-1. The half ended on another sour note for the Terps, as Brendan Healy was called for a pushing penalty with only 0:04 left in the half.
UNC began the second half on EMO, but turned the ball over just as the penalty was about to expire. After successfully clearing the ball, Bill McGlone found Max Ritz, who fired a shot 5-hole to make the score 6-2 UNC. Healy, who has struggled shooting at times this year, found his shot at the right time, scoring the Terps next three goals. The first came off a time and room shot after a feed from his linemate McGlone. The second came from a nice feed through traffic by Mike Phipps. The third came when Healy dodged down the left alley and finished low.
McGlone finished a five unanswered goal run with an unassisted goal of his own to tie the game at 6. A man-up chance finally allowed Carolina to stop the bleeding and regain the lead – Nick Tintle fed Ben Hunt who ripped a hard shot past Alford. Just over a minute later, Mike Phipps found a cutting Joe Walters, who finished a quick stick to knot the game at seven. Walters was visibly relieved after having hit several pipes on the day, and just missing one a few other shots.
The fourth quarter began with the game tied at seven, but got off to an exciting start. Grant Zimmerman, who had replaced Trey Sheain midway through the third in the goal for the Heels, made the game’s most exciting play early in the third. The Terps were forcing him to handle the ball on a clear – Zimmerman seemed fine with this as he shook Joe Walters near the midfield line and instead of looking to get rid of the ball, pushed it upfield and attacked the Maryland D. Eventually, a Terp defenseman had to respect the charging goalie, and Zimmerman dumped the ball off to Ben Staines, who ripped a high hard shot past Alford. Carolina got a lift from this goal and scored again less than two minutes later when Drew Habeck converted an unassisted effort to give the Heels a 9-7 lead with just over 11 minutes to play.
The rest of the game was all Maryland, as the Terps went on a 3-0 run to finish the game. Xander Ritz scooped up a rebound off a McGlone shot and fired it home before getting crushed to the turf to make the game 9-8. With under five minutes to play, Healy swept across the front of the Carolina defense and dumped a feed to McGlone who had cleared out underneath him. McGlone fired the ball high and hard and Zimmerman got a piece, but not enough to keep the Terps from evening the game at 9. Carolina won the ensuing faceoff, but Maryland regained control when Steve Whittenberg forced a turnover leading to a Maryland clear and timeout.
Following the timeout, Maryland got two good looks. Healy created his own shot and missed left of the cage. Shortly thereafter, Walters fired another shot off the iron, this time hitting the crossbar. Mike Phipps controlled the loose ball and the Terps called their final timeout. After the second timeout, the Terps initiated the play up top before dumping it down to Phipps, who tossed a cross crease feed to a wide-open Xander Ritz who completed his hat-trick with a nice quick-stick finish.
Carolina won the final faceoff and immediately called timeout to draw up a play. The Terps came out in a zone defense following the timeout, and the Heels were visibly confused. Andrew McElduff eventually took a desperation outside shot which Alford saved. Terp longpole Ryan Clarke was all over Carolina’s Michael Burns as he tried to control the loose ball, and UMD midi Jimmy Borell eventually came up with it and cleared the ball to secure the victory.
Maryland vs. North Carolina