Game 1: Hoyas Beat Maryland 5-4
On Friday, September 13, 2019, at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel, Maryland, the Georgetown Hoya hockey team faced-off against the Terrapins of the University of Maryland. It was the first game of the 2019-2020 season for the Hoyas, and what a game it was. After trailing 4-0 at the end of the second period, the Hoyas scored 5 unanswered goals in the third period and pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in Hoya Hockey history. The final was Georgetown 5, Maryland 4.
It did not start well. Maryland, playing in front of a large and enthusiastic home crowd, dominated the first two periods of the game with physical play, aggressive forechecking, and a strong presence in front of the net at both ends. By the end of the second period, Maryland had 30 shots on goal and led 4-0. Although the Hoyas were outplayed, they refused to back down, delivered several solid checks of their own, fired 20 shots on goal, and had a few good scoring chances that they were unable to convert.
The third period was a different story. In the first 36 seconds, Joe Cooley (Jr, Buffalo, NY) and Rob Churchill (Gr, Medford, NJ) created a turnover behind Maryland’s goal. From behind the net, Rob centered a pass to Nick Gallo (Jr, Summit, NJ) who one-timed it into the upper shelf to put the Hoyas on the scoreboard. It was now 4-1.
Two minutes later, the Hoyas went back on the attack, with speedster Adam Cookson (Soph, Medway, MA) scoring from close range at the left post, assisted by Jack Angelini (Jr, Bloomington, IL). It was now 4-2. Merely 10 seconds later, the Hoyas won the faceoff, pushed hard into the Maryland zone, and shocked the Terrapins when Rob Churchill scored on a tap in after a tremendous no-look behind the back pass from Nick Gallo across the crease, further assisted by Joe Cooley. It was now 4-3. The Hoyas had scored three goals in the opening 2 minutes and 51 seconds of the third period. The crowd was silenced and Maryland called a timeout.
During the next 12 minutes, the defenses tightened, both teams skated hard, every loose puck was pursued with a vengeance, and neither team was able to obtain an advantage. With 6:27 remaining in the third period, the Hoyas had a rare power play opportunity due to an interference call against the Terrapins. It was only Maryland’s third penalty of the game. On the power play, the Hoyas quickly and effectively moved the puck in the offensive zone. With 5:52 remaining, Zach Shpilner (Jr, Belmont, MA) unleashed a slap shot from the right point. Zach’s shot was deflected by Rob Churchill and picked up by Nick Gallo, who fired it through traffic and into the back of the net to tie the game at 4-4.
The Maryland crowd was in disbelief. Finally, with 2:06 remaining in the game, Hoya defenseman Matt Gallo (Jr, Summit, NJ) joined the rush and scored the game winner on a great shot from the right side, assisted by Nick Gallo and Joe Cooley. This goal capped off an incredible comeback by the Hoyas, and was made possible due to resilience, an outstanding team effort, and limiting the Terrapins to 8 shots in the third period (after 30 in the first two periods). Standouts on defense included Danny Overcash (Soph, Chevy Chase, MD), Matt Gallo, Zach Shpilner, Connor Lindquist (Sr, Chanhassen MN), Andrew Nestle (Soph, Summit, NJ), Jake Menz (Soph, NY, NY), solid backchecking by the Hoya forwards, and superb goaltending by Ty Greenberg (Soph, Toronto, ONT) who saved 34 shots on goal and played a huge part in securing this impressive victory.
Next game: Saturday, September 21 against the University of Richmond at the Richmond Ice Zone.