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Big Ten Thursday Lunch Club Memo - February 7, 2019: Week 0 Sweep

Welcome back Grant Ament & Adam Charlambides!

Washington v Rutgers Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Big Ten Thursday Lunch Club Memo

To - Big Ten Thursday Lunch Club members

Re - Week 0 sweep

Welcome back everyone to our weekly lunch date. I hope you’re all having a great week. Speaking of having a great week, the Big Ten had a stellar Week 0, as Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, & Rutgers all won their season openers. Penn State had an especially impressive weekend as the Nittany Lions put a hurting on Villanova, defeating the Wildcats 17-7. PSU star Grant Ament was back for his first game since 2017 and looked like he hadn’t missed a step, finishing with 10 points on the afternoon. Ament had an immediate impact on PSU on Saturday and really energized the Nittany Lions offense against Villanova.

Like Penn State, Rutgers also saw the return of a key offensive weapon, as Adam Charlambides was back in the line-up against Lafayette last Saturday, for the RU for the first time since the 2016 Big Ten Tournament title game. Adam led the Scarlet Knights in goals with four on the afternoon and also had one assist in Rutgers’ win over the Leopards. Fellow attackman Kieran Mullins also had a very good game, as he led the team in total points last weekend with a hat trick and two assists. Another bright spot for Rutgers was face-off man Connor Harryman who was dynamite last Saturday, winning 22 out of 25 face-off attempts in the RU victory.

OSU’s game versus Cleveland St. was probably closer than Buckeyes fans would’ve preferred, but I believe that had more to do with how well the Vikings have developed as a team than anything else. Ohio State was able to get scoring from six different players last weekend & goaltender Josh Kirson had a very good day with 16 saves.

Maryland handled ts business against Bucknell last weekend, beating the Bison 11-6 in the first meeting since Bucknell’s 2006 upset win over the Terps. MD’s 17 turnovers on Saturday weren’t ideal, but I believe they will clean that up in the coming weeks.

All in all it was a very good Week 0 for the conference. We will get to see all six teams play this weekend as Johns Hopkins & Maryland start out their 2019 campaigns against Towson & Cleveland St, respectively.

Directly below is the Big Ten Thursday Lunch Club Big Board for February 7, 2019. Links in the 2019 Overall Record column will take you to that team’s official 2019 schedule page. Links in the Last Game column will take you to the recap of that team’s most recent game, while links in the 2018 Overall Record column will take you to Chris’ 2018 Year in Review post for that particular team. Below the board is a preview of the six games this weekend.

Big Ten Thursday Lunch Club Big Board For February 7, 2019

Team 2019 Overall Record Last Game Next Game 2019 Non-Conference Record 2019 Conference Record 2018 Overall Record
Team 2019 Overall Record Last Game Next Game 2019 Non-Conference Record 2019 Conference Record 2018 Overall Record
Johns Hopkins 0-0 N/A Feb 9: Away vs. Towson 0-0 0-0 12-5
Maryland 1-0 11-6 W vs. Bucknell Feb 9 Home vs. Richmond 1-0 0-0 14-4
Michigan 0-0 N/A Feb 9: Away vs. Cleveland St. 0-0 0-0 8-6
Ohio State 1-0 12-9 W vs. Cleveland St. Feb 9: Home vs. Boston Univ. 1-0 0-0 8-7
Penn State 1-0 17-7 W vs. Villanova Feb 9: Home vs. Robert Morris 1-0 0-0 8-6
Rutgers 1-0 14-8 W vs. Lafayette Feb 9: Away vs. St. John's 1-0 0-0 9-6

Johns Hopkins vs. Towson

The Jays open up their season on the road versus Towson. This rivalry has certainly increased in intensity since Shawn Nadelen took over for the Tigers. Indeed, while Hopkins won last year’s game at Homewood 14-6, Towson has won the last two contests at Johnny Unitas Stadium, including a 13-8 win in 2017. This is obviously a different team than the Towson squad that went to the Final Four two years ago, but the fact remains that that Jays shouldn’t go into the Tigers den ill-prepared for an early February street fight.

Maryland vs. Richmond

The Terps take on Richmond at College Park this weekend. Maryland is 1-0 on the season thanks to their aforementioned 11-6 win over Bucknell. Logan Wisnauskas finished with 5 points (4 Gs, 1 A) to lead the Terps in scoring last Saturday, as he was one of seven MD players to register at least one point versus Bucknell. Richmond returns numerous starters from the 2018 team that reached the NCAA Tournament, including four players who made So-Con preseason All-Conference. Leading the way for the Spiders is Teddy Hatfield, who has already eclipsed Richmond and the SoCon’s all-time scorer list as a junior last year; he enters his final season with 151 career points. Maryland must be mindful of Hatfield and also Richmond sophomore Mitch Savoca if they don’t want to fall prey to another early season SoCon upset like Duke did last night.

#AllBlackEverything

Michigan vs. Cleveland St.

The Wolverines open up their season versus a Cleveland St. team that took it to the Buckeyes last weekend. OSU won the game, but coach Sheridan’s Vikings team played very well throughout much of the contest. CSU had 8 different players score at least one point versus Ohio State, with five of those players scoring two points each. The Wolverines will need to be ready for a balanced CSU offense.

Michigan returns over 85% of their scoring from the 2018 team that went 8-6. The biggest returning offensive piece for UM is Brent Noseworthy who led the team in goals (41) & total points (48) in 2018. Michigan fans hope to see even more production from Brent this season as they look to finally breakthrough & make the Big Ten Tournament in May.

Ohio State vs. BU

The Buckeyes definitely had to fight their way to victory last weekend against Cleveland St. OSU never trailed after taking the lead midway through the first quarter, but they never were able to really put Cleveland St. away. Were it not for Josh Kirson’s 16 saves last Saturday, OSU might have been in a much different situation going into the fourth quarter. Ohio State will need to be ready for BU this weekend, as the Terriers come into the game 1-0 after a tight game against Providence last Sunday. BU’s goaltender Joe McSorley had 24 saves against the Friars last Sunday and if he plays like that again this weekend, it could be a long afternoon for the Buckeyes.

Penn State

As mentioned above, Penn State played very well against Villanova. Obviously Grant Ament had a great game, but PSU got contribution from all over the field last Saturday as well, as 11 Penn State players recorded at least one point last weekend. TJ Malone and Dylan Foulds both had three goals each, while Mac O’Keefe finished the game with four points (2 Gs, 2 As).

The Nittany Lions also got a great performance in goal last Saturday, as Colby Kneese had a career day in the cage with 19 saves. Penn State will need another solid all around performance this weekend as they face Robert Morris on Saturday (the Colonials beat PSU last year) in what may be the best game on the Lunch Club board this weekend.

Rutgers

Rutgers fans might have been a bit surprised with how close the game was through three quarters last weekend, but Lafayette’s goaltender Ryan Ness had a big game and finished the afternoon with 14 saves, while the Rutgers offense turned the ball over 15 times, which helped to keep the game close. Luckily for the Scarlet Knights, face-off man Connor Harryman’s went 22-25 at the dot, which helped to keep Rutgers in relative control through the much of the game, before the RU offense exploded in the fourth with six goals.

Adam Charalambides’ return to the line-up was a great thing to see for Rutgers. Charalambides had a phenomenal freshman year in 2016, but hadn’t played since then due to injuries. Thankfully he is back on the field and playing as if he hasn’t missed a beat. I look for him and Kieran Mullins to have strong games against St. John’s this weekend.

We have several interesting contests coming up on Saturday, as all six teams will face opponents who pose a unique challenge. I don't know if the conference is going to go 6-0 on Saturday, but I do know back-to-back sweeps would be a good start to the year and our dream of a five bid Big Ten. Regardless of this weekend's results, I’ll be back next Thursday for another lunch time memo. I'll see you out there.

Very truly yours,

@Eri_Barrister