I want to start this episode by talking about Ohio State’s big win over North Carolina on Sunday and after that we’ll dive into all of the matchups for this weekend that are worth watching.

North Carolina – 5
Ohio State – 8

Carolina played around with controlling this game through holding a delicate lead for about 30 minutes of this game. 

The Tarheel took a 4-2 lead off an unassisted goal by Logan McGovern with 5:12 left in the first half. 

They would hold onto that lead until Richie LaCalandra scored on a feed from Jack Myers just a minute and 35 seconds into the 4th quarter knotting things up at 4’s.

Kyle Borda scored back to back goals about half way through the 4th to give the Buckeyes a 6-4 lead that would eventually extend to the final score of 8-5.

Keyes in the Ohio State win:

  • Ohio State made defensive adjustments at the half that limited UNC’s looks. The Heels took 17 shots in the second quarter alone and only 19 shots the entire second half. 
  • Skylar Wahlund made 12 stops vs just 5 goals against. He was consistent throughout the game making 3 saves in each quarter. 
  • The Ohio State defense held Carolina to just 7 shots on cage in the second half. It was a matter of them taking the ball away or even UNC committing too many turnovers. They simply best UNC to all of the best spots on the field. Very impressive second half performance. 

For Ohio State: Jack Myers, Richie LaCalandra and Ed Shean (1g, 1a), Skylar Wahlund (12 saves vs 5 goals against) 

For North Carolina: Logan McGovern (1g, 1a), Collin Krieg (13 saves vs 8 goals against) 

Notre Dame @ Georgetown

This is as close to a “must win” game as Georgetown as you’re going to get.  Lose this game, and you’re 0-3 with Princeton up next.  Win this game, and you are 1-2 with Princeton up next, but a very favorable schedule after that.  Notre Dame will lack the chance to pick up an RPI pleasing win after these next two games, so this one is important.

For Notre Dame, it’s important to keep pace in terms of rankings, but Notre Dame has many more chances to beat quality teams.  So it’s important for both teams, but it’s a near must win for the Hoyas.

Prediction:  Notre Dame (by 1 or 2 goals)

Duke @ Penn

This should be a great matchup and rarely disappoints.  Duke is coming off a huge OT win over Denver that saw Brennan O’Neill score both the game tying goal as well as the sudden death winner in overtime.  Penn is coming off a 2-goal win over Georgetown that saw the Quakers play a near perfect game defensively, with a hot goalie helping out.

I think this is a true 50/50 game and Penn is probably the slight favorite.  EXCEPT, Duke has Brennan O’Neill and a few more games under their belt.

Prediction:  Duke (by 1 or 2 goals)

Maryland @ Princeton

Luke Wierman gave Maryland enough extra possessions against Syracuse they were able to pull out the 3-goal win over the Orange.  I don’t think Tyler Sandoval and company will fare as poorly against Wierman as Syracuse did and that may spell trouble for Maryland.

However, Princeton hasn’t impressed so far in their first two victories as Manhattan gave the Tigers all they could handle Tuesday night (although Princeton did pull out a convincing win by the end).

Prediction:  Maryland (by 1 or 2 goal) because Wierman is going to be Wierman again.

Loyola @ Rutgers

Loyola is playing some of the toughest defense in the nation right now.  Cam Wyers is anchoring the defense with goalkeeper Luke Staudt standing on his head in cage.  The rope unit consisting of defensive midfielders Payton Rezanka and Mustang Sally has been very impressive in Loyola’s wins over Hopkins and Maryland.  Rutgers’ loss to Army proves they aren’t quite as solid in cage as they were a season ago with Kirst holding down the fort, and they still have some issues defensively they will need to iron out.

Prediction:  Loyola (by 1 or 2 goals)

North Carolina @ Syracuse

Syracuse is going to have problems facing off all year and that will hurt them in close games.  Lucky for the Orange, North Carolina doesn’t light it up at the dot.  Both teams have hot goaltenders.  Both teams have proven they can score offensively when they have the ball.  Both teams play well enough on defense to allow their goalies to save their asses.  This is pretty close to a 50/50 game here as it gets.

Prediction:  Syracuse (by 1 or 2 goals)

Virginia @ Ohio State

This should actually be the game of the week with Ohio State coming off a huge win over North Carolina on Sunday and Virginia putting on an offensive clinic against Harvard on Saturday.  Both teams match up well, solid defenses on both sides with very good goalies.  Virginia holds the edge at the faceoff dot with Petey LaSalla, but Ohio State’s crew has been serviceable.  It comes down to “can the OSU defense stop UVA from exploding”?  If yes, this is going to be a game.  If not, Virginia could win by more than a few goals.

Prediction:  Virginia (by 2 or 3 goals)

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