Media Access, COVID-19, and You

We are all mind-numbingly aware of the COVID-19 virus (I’m only going to call it C-19 moving onward) and we know what it’s done to the social landscape of the world. Obviously, sports is put into this and has led to leagues shutting down their locker room access and even possibly playing in front of empty arenas (although the AHL already did that).

My opinion is good. While it’s probably an overreaction to what equates to a beefed-up pneumonia, you rather err on the side of caution rather than have to clean up the mess that comes from not taking the right moves in the first place. Playing catch-up is never fun, especially in a wide-spread illness.

But seeing media people hem and haul about the shutting down of locker rooms and access to players and give a vague threat to the leagues bascially saying, “This better be temporary,” makes me tilt my head. As someone who has pieces of laminated paper saying I’m part of the media, I’ve never once thought that locker room access is needed to have a good story. Hell, at the University of North Dakota games; all the interviews for the masses are done in a scrum style with two or three players and head coach Brad Berry. We all get our stories, we all move along. Brad Schlossman is one of the finest writers in hockey and he rarely gets the locker room access some of these reporters in sports get, but he’s still churning out bangers week after week.

Does that help with some stories and such?? Sure. Is it a necessity?? That’s a hard sell for me. Does it equate to better stories?? I’m sure it does. Ken Rosenthal thinks it does (subscription because innovation). To a point, it can be true because access and having a good standing with the players can lead to things down the line and becoming an insider. Also, the point that it’s making the media members look petty because they’re getting singled out and other groups aren’t.

But, when the Colorado Avalanche have a sign reminding media members not to hug players or sit at stalls seems more to me like writers are mad because they can’t be buddy-buddy with some players. There’s not many other entertainment industries that allow people to be as tight-knit as the sports community. It can be considered both awesome and invasive all in one.

If you’re a good reporter, you’ll find a way to get the story without having to make brunch plans with the top-line guys or deal with the stench of equipment by your nose when you sit down in one of their stalls. People’s story writing abilities aren’t tied to all-access approaches in locker room settings. Yes, it makes a story better…but there’s tons of people out there writing quality stuff without having a fraction of the access or really needing it– but they’re still getting respect from people who enjoy the content they put out– access or not.

If worst comes to worst– everyone is connected. If you have a good relationship with a player now and need access to the room without getting access to the room– you should have their number. Text them, call them, email them– if they’re really your buddy, they’ll find a way to make time for you either in-person or virtually. Does it tell the whole story you’re looking for?? No, because it doesn’t have those subtle nuances of a locker room…but it’s still better than no access at all.

And yet, the story the writers are really missing are the impact around the games. The fans who may have taken a vacation to see a game, but will have to wait because the game was shuddered down to fans. The impact this will have on local businesses on top of the impact of non-gameday happens with this panic. The workers inside the venues who are going to be losing money and might already be on a tight budget as it is.

But no, let’s talk about the locker rooms shutting down. Let’s talk about the lack of access being the reason some can’t create a good story. There’s stories to be had out there that don’t require direct player access. You just have to be good enough to find it.

Clutch and Crab Hockey Weekend Preview 023

MARYLAND BLACK BEARS vs. Johnstown Tomahawks

After a sweep against Jamestown, the Black Bears enter another crucial weekend not only for playoff contention, but for a rivalry weekend. Not only that, but it’s “Guns N’ Hoses” weekend for support local fire and police officer. These two teams don’t like each other, especially with who’s between the pipes at the other end and the tactics that were pulled last time the Tomahawks were at The Den. Some upsides is the Black Bears looked solid and will build off it and Johnstown played two games earlier this week, which could make them a team primed to beat.

Team defense will be a big deal, as it was very solid last week, limiting the Rebels to 36 shots the entire weekend and Cooper Black stopping 35 of them. That said, one thing that needs improve is the power play, which has no goals in their last 37 attempts with their last power play goal being on January 24th. Keeping the defense strong and making the power play effective will be the biggest keys for the weekend and season ahead.

TEAM MARYLAND vs. Philadelphia Little Flyers

Though it won’t start until the 9th, Team Maryland will start their playoff run after the weekend and hope to take it home. They’ll take on a team that they had a 4-2-0 record against during the season, out scoring the Little Flyers 29-21. One thing to look for from coach Josh Fusco is who will start in net– either Peter Siolas or Zach Richards, both who have had ups and downs.

With seven players in double-digits for goals, offense shouldn’t come at a premium, but it’s a matter of keeping their hot streak alive– as they come into the playoffs on a four-game winning streak. It’s a landmark time for TM and they will hopefully make the most of this during the week and beyond.

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS D3 WOMEN at Elmira College

After a huge win against Neumann, Stevenson reaches the UCHC Final Four against the host Elmira. In their only meeting this season, Elmira took it 2-1, though Annie Smyth-Hammond played stellar with 45 saves in the loss. Smyth-Hammond was amazing against Neumann last weekend, with Nikki Kendrick and Trin Barcless leading the way scoring.

More impressive during this five-game win streak is the defense the Mustangs have played, only letting up three goals in those five wins, while scoring 20 in that same span. If the team defense can keep the solid work up, they’ll move onto the UCHC Final and maybe an automatic NCAA bid by the weekend’s end.

NAVAL ACADEMY MIDSHIPMEN D1 vs. ECHA Playoffs

After some time off, the Mids are back at it and are at home for the ECHA Playoffs, which is something that will play well into Navy’s hands with their supporters right there at McMullen all weekend. The rest can be really great for some teams or a detriment to them, especially in a one-and-done tournament scenario. In games coming out of an off weekend for Navy this season, they were 2-1 with their only loss coming early in the season.

That said, as the season rolls and going against a team that will have played the day before– as Navy has a quarterfinal bye– the odds seem in their favor. Add to the fact they were ECHA runner-ups last season, they’ll want to get the championship and have it mean that much more to do it on home ice.

Clutch N’ Crab Hockey Weekend Preview 022

MARYLAND BLACK BEARS vs. Jamestown Rebels

After a disappointing weekend in Wilkes-Barre, the Black Bears are back at home and are now in crucial win territory from this point forward. Also, trying to fix the power play will need to happen, as they have no converted on their last 28 power plays. Hampus Rydqvist scored the last PPG on January 24th against this Rebels’ team. This team needs to make their own luck rather than hoping that puck luck reaches them. It’s a gut-check time for all involved if they want to make hold onto the final playoff spot, especially against teams chasing them.

TEAM MARYLAND vs. North Carolina Golden Bears

In the final regular season weekend, Team Maryland takes on the EHL whipping boy in North Carolina. The biggest thing for Team Maryland is to get in playoff form. They can’t shy away from their game plan even against a team lower in standing. If they sweep this weekend, they’ll move into fourth spot and still face the Philadelphia Little Flyers, but at home rather than on the road.

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS D3 MEN at Wilkes College

After an 8-4 win thanks to a Nick Gray hat-trick, the Mustangs go to Wilkes for a two-game playoff with mini-game tactics in effect if each team takes a game. Unfortunately, Stevenson dropped both games to Wilkes, once at the start of the season and once at the beginning of February. The same offense shown against Neumann needs to carry over, while the defense needs to tighten up, as Ryan Kenny has faced a ton of shots down the stretch and showing some flaws.

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS D3 WOMEN at Neumann University

Riding a four-game winning streak into the playoffs, the Mustangs head up to Aston, PA to With a loss and a tie this year against the Knights, the Mustangs will hope to put that aside and make sure they make the most of this quarterfinal and make the most of their momentum. Outscoring their opponents 18-2 in the four-game win streak, the Mustangs are getting their offense going at the right time, especially for a one-and-done scenario.

Clutch N’ Crab Hockey Weekend Preview 020

MARYLAND BLACK BEARS vs. Maine Nordiques

With only one win in their last 10 games, the Black Bears are in for a crucial match-up against a team creeping up on them for that fourth and final playoff spot. With the line-up set, everyone is going to have to step up in a bigger way to keep hold of that fourth spot while holding off the competition behind them. Hopefully, Brayden Stannard will be back in the line-up to add to the offensive punch of the Black Bears.

TEAM MARYLAND vs. Philadelphia Little Flyers, North Carolina Golden Bears

After plenty of goals in their split last weekend, TM has a task in the Little Flyers to start the weekend, a team they’ve already beaten three times; while they’ll have North Carolina come in for the first of three games to end the season. While these are primer games, TM shouldn’t take any of these games for granted going into the playoff season. Despite playing a weaker team in North Carolina, the pedal still needs to be to the floor to gear up for the second season.

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS D3 MEN at Nazareth University, Utica College

After sweeping the weekend last weekend, the Mustangs will look to continue that on the road, where they have only lost one game all year. The power play clicked well last weekend, though the penalty kill did let up three goals against Neumann on Friday. With first place in the UCHC within reach, every conference point matters– especially against a team in Utica who is right behind the Mustangs in the standings

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS D3 WOMEN at Lebanon Valley College, Chatham College

After a less than desirable finish to their home schedule, the Mustangs head out on the road, where they are the opposite of the men’s side– winning only one game on the road. With only road games left, the Mustangs will need to find an extra gear in order to get over those road woes, and bring home at least one victory out of this trip to stay up in the playoff conversation.

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS D2 MEN’S CLUB at MACH Playoffs

With their first task being Rowan University, the Green Horses will be taking their most successful team in the brief three year period into the MACH playoffs. They run into a Rowan team who is second in the conference and has taken both match-ups this season. Yet, the playoffs are a different beast and with all the adversity Stevenson has faced already– what’s a little more to overcome to get to the next round and maybe a title shot.

LOYOLA UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND GREYHOUNDS WOMEN’S CLUB at DVCHC Playoffs

The Greyhounds won the South Division of the DVCHC, so they’re automatically into the semi-final game, where they’ll take on the second lowest seeded team in that game. Loyola comes in winning seven of their last eight to end the year and with Jessica Chicko playing out of her mind with four hat-trick in her last five games, including three straight. It’s always good to have that hot a hand when going into the playoffs– especially in a one-game scenario.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND TERRAPINS WOMEN’S CLUB at DVCHC Playoffs

While they looked like world beaters in the early going, the Terps had a bit of a bumpy patch late in the season, going only .500 in the last six games. They’ll take on West Chester in the first round, a team they met and lost to two weeks ago. If there’s any time for a revenge game and for Alix McKillop to really bust out the scoring– it’ll be here.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND TERRAPINS D2 MEN’S CLUB at MACH Playoffs

The Terps have a bit of an uphill climb for the MACH playoffs, coming in as the last seed and facing powerhouse Liberty in the first round– a team that swept the Terps two weeks prior. The Terps have only won one game since semester break (seven games) and will have to dig deep or they’ll be preparing for the Crabpot tournament a little bit earlier than they’d hope.

Clutch N’ Crab Hockey Weekend Preview 019

MARYLAND BLACK BEARS at New Jersey Titans

Last time the Black Bears were in New Jersey, they were able to get a split out of the weekend. While taking four points against the divisions top team is a tough task, it’s something that the Black Bears have a chance to do. With the new guys being acclimated to the team, it’ll be a task to harness that energy toward the Titans while trying to keep a gap in the East Division playoff hunt.

TEAM MARYLAND vs. New York Applecore

After a tough couple weekend against New Jersey, New York shows up to Team Maryland HQ with a 1-2-0 season record against TM so far. With TM trying to stay in the top-six, Applecore has the role to play possible spoilers– or at least rattle the cages of TM– in this weekend’s match-ups.

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS D3 MEN vs. Neumann University, Manhattanville College

The Mustangs return home after a less than desirable weekend in Pennsylvania. With a bitter taste in their mouths, Stevenson will take on two teams they beat handily at the beginning of the season and hope to find some home-ice advantage, despite being only two games over the .500 mark at Reisterstown SportsPlex.

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS D3 WOMEN vs. Manhattanville College, Neumann University

Finishing up .500 last weekend, the Mustang women come back for one last home series of the regular season, which will be the last for the seniors in their careers. With the home-cooking, the seniors and the rest of the Green Horses are looking to get over their overall .500 mark on the season and gain momentum heading into the last two weekends of the season.

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS CLUB at/vs. University of Maryland

In their last weekend of the regular season, the Green Horses club team take on the Terps in a home-and-home weekend. The last three games, the Mustangs have outscored their opponents 20-3 and look to pounce on a Maryland squad who has had plenty of troubles scoring this season. With playoffs looming and a chance to improve their position, we’ll see the best yet from the Mustangs this weekend.

NAVAL ACADEMY MIDSHIPMEN MEN’S D1 at West Chester University, vs. Lehigh University

As they sit atop the ECHA standings, the Middies look to hold onto that spot in order to get a first-round bye in the playoffs. With wins already this season against these teams, the Navy squad will look to revenge their loss in the finals last year and turn into a big win and possible National Championship bid because of it.

NAVAL ACADEMY MIDSHIPMEN MEN’S D2 at Georgetown University, Rowan University

While they may not make it to the ACCHL playoffs, the D2 Midshipmen will look to end on a high note in an otherwise tough season. They will hope to spark some offense that was off and on this season, but in a chance to play spoiler for Georgetown’s hopes; you can bet they’ll take advantage of it if possible.

NAVAL ACADEMY MIDSHIPMEN WOMEN vs. University at Buffalo

In order to get into the top-four of the Southeast, the Middies will need to big wins over Buffalo, who are right behind them in the standings. Sitting fifth and hoping for computers to be on their side, Navy’s women will have to leave no doubt when it comes to these games in their last ride of the season.

LOYOLA UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND GREYHOUNDS WOMEN at George Washington University, vs. West Chester University

Battling for the top spot in the South Division, the Greyhounds will take on a team they defeated 10-0 last weekend in GW, but then will take on a tough foe of the North Division in West Chester. It’ll really be a big test for the Greyhounds to see how they’re able to hang with the top teams in the other division for championship time.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND TERRAPINS MEN vs/at Stevenson University, at University of Delaware

We mentioned the Terps ahead of this with the Mustangs, but the key point is the lack of scoring for the Terps this season, as it seemed that they haven’t been able to get that flow they had at the start of the season and find consistency throughout the season. With two tough tasks ahead, the Terps will probably sit in the MACH playoffs in the bottom spot.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND TERRAPINS WOMEN vs. George Washington University

In what could be a big scoring game, the Lady Terps will look to end the season and into the playoffs with a big win over GW, while hoping that Loyola has some struggles and won’t be able to end the year at the top of the table.

TOWSON UNIVERSITY TIGERS MEN vs. Drexel University, West Chester University

In what was a tough season, the Tigers will finish it up at home and hope to get some wins in the instance. A lot of key elements are graduating, which could cause trouble for next season if things don’t improve to the level three seasons ago when the Tigers were in the ECHA championship game. Maybe something can click and they get back to those days of glory.

TOWSON UNIVERSITY TIGERS WOMEN at West Virginia University

After their second win of the season, the Tigers will wrap up their season in West Virginia and hope to build their program back up. While they did get two more wins than last year, it’s something to build on for another Towson program trying to get back to the glory days of success in the area.

Clutch N’ Crab Hockey Weekend Preview 018

MARYLAND BLACK BEARS (16-17-7) vs. JAMESTOWN REBELS

It’s a revenge weekend for the Black Bears after going to Jamestown last weekend and getting swept. You’d also have to think they are also wanting to break their seven-game skid. Probably more frustrating is five of those seven losses have been by one-goal. With new faces in the line-up, the Black Bears are looking to make a seismic shift to their season going for a playoff push.

TEAM MARYLAND (18-18-3) vs. NEW JERSEY 87s

Another revenge game for a team at Piney Orchard, this one is Team Maryland– who lost to New Jersey a week ago at Piney Orchard 3-2. With plenty to stew about and knowing their opponents properly, TM will need to made a few adjustment and limit the shot total from New Jersey in order to reverse their fortune this week.

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS MEN D3 (12-4-1) at KING’S COLLEGE, WILKES UNIVERSITY

After an underwhelming weekend, the Mustangs are looking to get back on the winning track with two games in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area. While they have beaten King’s this year, Wilkes gave the Mustangs their first defeat of the season, something I’m sure Dominick Dawes’ crew would want to get back in a big way. A key to that will be the consistency of the power play, which has gone 2-for-16 in their last three games.

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS WOMEN D3 (7-7-2) at NAZARETH COLLEGE, UTICA COLLEGE

With a sweep last week, the Mustangs got back to the .500 mark as they head into the final month of the regular season. Consistency is going to be key for the Mustangs, as they try to put together their first three-game win streak since November.

NAVAL ACADEMY MIDSHIPMEN MEN D1 (13-6-3) at TOWSON UNIVERSITY, VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY

In their penultimate weekend of the season, Navy will have their last in-state turn-up before the Crabpot at the end of the month with a team who hasn’t been as stellar as they hoped in Towson. Though, Navy’s road record pales in comparison to their home record, which could be an equalizer. However, they have beaten Villanova before the semester break– which could mean a tougher task for the Middies

NAVAL ACADEMY MIDSHIPMEN MEN D2 (3-9-3) vs. GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, THE CITADEL

A big win to start the short semester, Navy’s D2 team has a big task in front of them with three-in-three against a very solid George Washington squad and two against D3’s The Citadel. With scoring sometimes at a premium for the Mids, they’ll need to rely heavy on a transition game against GWU, while The Citadel will try to strangle the Mids defensively.

TOWSON UNIVERSITY TIGERS MEN (3-22-2) vs. NAVAL ACADEMY, VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY

The Tigers have only scored five goals in the last five games, which isn’t ideal when their goaltenders are getting pummeled with shots. Two tough tasks this weekend follow, which could make this season to forget even more forgettable– or they could play a spoiler for both these squads as we get to the end of the year.

TOWSON UNIVERSITY TIGERS WOMEN (1-10-0) vs. GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

It’s been a rough year for the Tigers, but they’ll start off their second semester with the team they defeated in their first game of the year– which has been their only win in two years. Being well-rested will help, though there could be a little rink rust in the early going.

LOYOLA UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND GREYHOUNDS (6-4-0) vs. GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

With a tough OT loss at Villanova, the Greyhounds look to rebound and keep challenging the Terps for top spot of the DVCHC South Division. They’ll be taking on a team who has been winless this year, which could be a path back to the win column or a trap game against an underappreciated opponent.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND TERRAPINS MEN (3-11-3) vs. LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

After a tough weekend in New Jersey to start the semester, the Terps face the #1 team in D2. With the absence of Chris Bouchard, Evan Yamaguchi was the only goal-scorer of last weekend. They’ll need a full effort from everyone on the roster in order to keep up with the top team in D2.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND TERRAPINS WOMEN (9-5-0) at WEST CHESTER UNIVERSITY

In their second to last game, the Terps will go to West Chester to get back on the right path while prepping for the playoff possibility. The biggest thing will be if the offensive continues to be as dominant as they have been in the first semester.

Clutch N’ Crab Hockey Weekend Preview 017

MARYLAND BLACK BEARS (16-15-7) at JAMESTOWN REBELS

It’s a crucial weekend for the Black Bears, as they try to snap their five-game losing skid, as well as pick up important points against the Rebels, who they’ll play four times in the next two weekends. While the losses have been close ones, the chance is now for the Black Bears to turn up the heat and learn how they are at facing adversity. With new acquisition Jack Smiley in town, it’ll be interesting to see what dynamic be brings to the Black Bears line-up moving forward.

TEAM MARYLAND (18-17-3) vs. NEW JERSEY 87s

After two big wins against North Carolina, TM is back at it for a single game this week, trying to avenge a sweep they suffered in New Jersey in mid-December. They will be without the services of Jay de Ruiter, who will be representing the Netherlands as alternate captain in the Division II World Junior Championship in Korea. Playing against the top team in the Mid-Atlantic Conference will be a real test for TM as they look ahead for a playoff berth.

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS D3 (12-3-0) vs. SUNY-FREDONIA

After a weekend sweep last week, the Mustangs look back in the right track and just below the top-ten in the national rankings. With Ryan Kenny being dominant in net as a freshman and the special teams being solid– 32.5% PP and 83% PK– the Mustangs and hoping to improve as they get to the last weeks of the season and hope to get into the National tournament.

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS WOMEN (5-7-2) vs. WILKES COLLEGE, KING’S COLLEGE

It’s been a roller coaster season for the women of Stevenson, with not much consistency in their play all season. With a week of team-building and a weekend on the road; the women will look to get back on their winning side against a team in King’s that they’ve handily beat earlier this year and Wilkes, whom they are facing for the first time.

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS CLUB (10-11-0) vs. ????

While I don’t know the logo of the college they’re playing, the Mustangs club team will be honoring their first team, as the seniors are being honored this weekend. As they’ve seen the team grow, they’ve seen the growth of the team culminate in their final year. As the team starts to really roll in the end, they hope to end it for a high note for their fans and as they roll into the playoffs.

NAVAL ACADEMY MIDSHIPMEN D1 (12-5-3) vs. TEMPLE UNIVERSITY, at DREXEL UNIVERSITY

After a sweep of the weekend, the Middies look to continue to pad their lead in the ECHA standings in hopes of putting themselves in a great position for the playoffs. With the combo of Joe Kelly and Conner Hyden clicking so far after the semester break, Navy is hoping they can keep the balanced attack going as they start the home-stretch of the season.

NAVAL ACADEMY MIDSHIPMEN D2 (2-8-0) vs. ST. JOSEPH UNIVERSITY

It is not the year the D2 Middies have hoped for, but they can still save face in the last few games of the year. Kevin Harris has been great on the offensive side of the puck, though the defense has kind of left Skippy Sheldon out in the lurch for the better part of the season.

NAVAL ACADEMY MIDSHIPMEN WOMEN (10-5-1) vs. LIBERTY UNIVERSITY, MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

With a big sweep last week, the Midshipwomen will take on two big tasks in three games. Liberty is one of the top teams int he ACHA, while Michigan State took them to the limit in Navy’s trip up north earlier in the year. Maggie Madigan, Devin Marshall, and Rose Gasper will need to really be on their two-way game to be successful this weekend.

TOWSON UNIVERSITY TIGERS (3-19-1) vs. UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH, at WILLIAM PATERSON UNIVERSITY

Going one for three last week wasn’t bad for the Tigers, who have had a less than stellar season. Jacob Snyder was a stud facing over 150 shots in the three games and got quite the workout in. With two tough tasks ahead of them, the biggest thing is survival and saving face as the season stgarts to wind down.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND TERRAPINS (3-9-2) at COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY, RIDER UNIVERSITY

With Chris Bouchard gone, the weight of the scoring will fall to Liam Eden for the Terps. While there’s only a few games remaining, the task at hand will be to let get some momentum at the end of the season and see who takes over the reigns as the offensive dynamo going into next season.

UNIVERSITY OF LOYOLA-MARYLAND WOMEN (7-2-0) at VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY

In their first games back, the Greyhounds will look to build off the first half success, especially with the four-game win streak they are on. With only one game in the weekend, they should be able to push themselves hard enough to get back into game speed, but also adapt to the play of ‘Nova as the game goes on.

CLUTCH N’ CRAB HOCKEY WEEKEND PREVIEW 016

MARYLAND BLACK BEARS (16-14-6) at JOHNSTOWN TOMAHAWKS

It’s a crunch-time weekend for the Black Bears. While they do sit comfortably in fourth in the East Division, losses in their last three isn’t something they want to have as we’re in the second half of the season. Granted, they did muster some points in those games, but losses are losses. Heading into a rivalry weekend, you’d have to think head coach Clint Mylymok has this team motivation to get a road win or two and help their playoff push a little more.

TEAM MARYLAND (16-17-3) vs. NORTH CAROLINA GOLDEN BEARS

As they try to right the ship fully, Team Maryland is looking to have a strong run to the playoffs against the bottom team in the Mid-Atlantic Conference. After a decent showing at the last Showcase, TM will have home-ice the rest of the regular season– which should be a help mentally in order to not have to worry too much about traveling the rest of the way. Now it’s a matter of keeping the puck out of the net, which has been a bit of a problem, even in the wins.

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS MEN D3 (10-3-0) at LEBANON VALLEY COLLEGE, ELMIRA COLLEGE

While it’s still early, the Mustangs are facing some adversity. After an eight-game win streak, Stevenson has dropped their last two and go on the road hoping to change their fortune. It’s going to test the guile of freshman Ryan Kenny, who has been stellar in his breakout season otherwise. Luke Benitez has been tremendous in his sophomore season, using his size in front of the net and along the boards to create space for himself.

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS WOMEN D3 (5-5-2) at ELMIRA COLLEGE, WILLIAM SMITH COLLEGE

With a big win in their 2020 opener, the Mustangs have had a bit of a hiccup after a quick start to the season. The well-rounded nature of this team has been taking form and should help carry this team further. As Nikki Kendrick and Annie Smyth-Hammond leading the way, it’ll be a good example for the rest of the young squad for the rest of the season.

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS CLUB (8-11-0) vs. UNIVERSITY OF SCRANTON, DREXEL UNIVERSITY

Back somewhat healthy, the Mustangs club side got off to a solid start– even in a loss– to Delaware. With only six games left, the Mustangs will need to dig deep to get a winning season and go strong into the Crabpot Tournament and the playoffs for them. With a couple weeks left, the Mustangs and go all out this weekend at home and then rest up for a time after that.

NAVAL ACADEMY MIDSHIPMEN MEN D1 (10-5-1-2) at TEMPLE UNIVERSITY, PSU-BERKS

After an almost two month layoff, the Middies are back in action on the road. It’ll be interesting to see how this team plays very rested up, but possibly with some rust in game-play situations. Hopefully the rest will help their road play, as they are just above .500 and have scored 14 less goals on the road than at home.

NAVAL ACADEMY MIDSHIPMEN WOMEN (8-5-1) vs UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH

Another Navy team with a long layoff, but the ladies are back at McMullen looking to get on the winning trail. With a few games left, all at home, the women will bare down as they go in to the College Hockey East playoff role and will inevitably face Liberty at some point if they want to win a title.

TOWSON UNIVERSITY TIGERS MEN (3-17-1) vs. DUQUESNE UNIVERSITY, INDIANA UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

The Tigers will try to salvage an otherwise disappointing season as they’ll play at home most of the rest of the schedule. While Jacob Snyder’s .914 save percentage has been impressive for a team that gives up an average of 4.95 goals a game. The lack of offense– with the exception of Ryan Dieter, Matt Barilla, and Costa Pizanis– really has hampered the team and hopefully will be adjusted in the second half for momentum to next year.

Clutch N’ Crab Hockey Weekend Preview 015

MARYLAND BLACK BEARS (15-13-4) vs. NORTHEAST GENERALS

Riding a five-game winning streak and coming off a weekend break, the Black Bears hit the ice at The Den for the start of 2020. The Black Bears have been playing solid hockey, outscoring opponents 21-5 during the winning streak. This all while dealing with the departure of leading scorer Wilmer Skoog to Boston University. However, the departure of Skoog is probably going to be the turning point that brings the team together more. The entire team has come together to be better than before, with Jackson Sterrett and Brayden Stannard starting to emerge offensively for the team. However, in the previous meeting this season with the Generals, the Black Bears lost a three-game set two game to one in Northeast, with the two losses being one-goal affairs. With a new attitude, we can expect the best from this team trying to stay one of the hottest teams in the NAHL.

TEAM MARYLAND (14-15-3) at PHILADELPHIA LITTLE FLYERS

A difficult end of 2019 and going winless in December is something that Team Maryland hopes to resolve in their first game of the new calendar year. Hampered with a seven-game losing streak, the team looks to use the two-week break they had to regroup and get more mentally rested going into the final weeks of the schedule. With Denys Arkhypenko coming back after a five-point performance at the World Juniors Division 1-B tournament, the offense should have an added kick in their game this weekend against the Little Flyers.

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS D3 (9-1-0) vs. CHATHAM UNIVERSITY

One of the hottest teams in D3 hockey right now, Stevenson looks to add another win to their seven-game win streak this weekend in a one-off against Chatham. Getting into the USCHO rankings for the first time in team history, the #12 Mustangs are trying not to let the almost month off hurt them too much. Their +25 goal differential overall is tops amongst other UCHC teams overalls, while in-league, they are a +7, which is second in the conference. This is wilder given that leading scorer Dominic Brenza is 41st in UCHC overall scoring, showing how spread around the puck has been. Freshman goalie Ryan Kenny has been stellar with 1.84 GAA in his six starts– all wins– and has two shutouts in his six games.

Clutch N’ Crab Weekend Preview 013

MARYLAND BLACK BEARS (10-13-4) at MAINE NORDIQUES

It was a rough weekend last weekend for the Black Bears, as bad breaks and untimely turnovers haunted them against Jamestown. However, they’re meeting the Nordiques for the first time in franchise history, so it should be a hoot– especially for a three-game weekend such as this one. If the Black Bears are going to be successful is to find a way to convert on those scoring chances, especially since Maine has given up the most goals in the East Division. Conspicuous by the absence of one of the league’s top scorers on their roster, Maryland will need to band together moreso than usual in order to get back on a consistent winning track.

TEAM MARYLAND (14-13-2) at NEW YORK APPLECORE

A bit of a downspell for TM, who are coming off another couple of losses at this latest Showcase this week, but after a four-game win streak, they’re hit with a four-game losing streak. With only three games before the year-end break, TM needs to find some kind of extra gear to end 2019. They’ll have to do it without Denys Arkhypenko, who is representing Ukraine in the World Junior Division 1B tournament going on in Kyiv. TM will finish out their calendar year with two more games in New Jersey Wednesday and Thursday, as well.

STEVENSON UNIVERSITY MUSTANGS ACHA (7-8-0) at ROWAN UNIVERSITY

After a quick start to the season, the Green Horses have kind of simmered down, though the trip to Europe may have been a good thing and maybe a bad thing for last week and the lag that comes with it. That said, they have a chance to finish out strong with a battle against an undefeated Rowan team, hoping to pin them with their first loss. One of the biggest attributes for the Mustangs is their ability to score with a various amount of players with 13 players having a goal and six having five or more. The biggest thing would be keeping it out of the goal, as the team doesn’t have a goalie with under a 4.00 GAA, though Pierce Dushenko has come up huge for this team in key moments this season.