The Philadelphia Revolution started the 2018-19 regular season the same way they began the previous one: by starting a win streak. Last year’s club reached 17 wins before succumbing to a loss. Though there’s still a long ways until that number gets rivaled, Philadelphia is off to a strong 2-0 start after taking both games from Team Maryland this past weekend at Revolution Ice Gardens.
With scores of 14-1, and 5-2 respectively, the Revolution saw several players contribute both Saturday and Sunday. On opening night, 15 different Revs registered points, including 10 with multi-point games. Forward Justin Meers had a hat trick in the contest, while both Jake Russo and Samir Abouelhana each potted five points in the contest, with Russo getting all assists and Abouelhana factoring in for a goal and four helpers.
Philadelphia put 64 shots on in Saturday’s first ever matchup with the newly formed Team Maryland, a squad composed of just 10 skaters. Mac Brice scored the lone tally for the visitors in the third period Saturday, thus becoming the first Team Maryland player to score a goal.
Sunday morning’s affair presented a different challenge for the Revolution though, as the spirited Team Maryland changed defensive strategies and forced several shots to the outside. Aligning in a 1-1-3 formation, Maryland prevented many slot opportunities the Revolution capitalized on the previous night for over half their goals. Additionally, Maryland’s Lucas Farinacci beat Revs’ netminder Logan Kramsky to give his team the lead inside the five minute mark of the first period.
After numerous shots both five on five and on the powerplay, the Revolution struggled to solve goalie Anthony Del Tufo until the last few minutes of the frame. With Meers behind the defense, Revolution defenseman Tommy Donnelly connected with a stretch pass down the ice to Meerson the Maryland blue line. From there, the forward cut in and wristed home a top shelf goal for his fourth on the weekend, and ultimately capped off a seven point start to the season.
“I think it was good to get going and get the monkey off your back early in the season, but I think it was just important to get the team going and get a good start to be ready for the next one”, Said Meers. “I think it’s a good confidence builder. It’s good to start 2-0. The intensity we brought today will lead into our practices this week and lead into our games next weekend. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going and add to the win streak we started so far.”
After Meers’ tying goal, the contest reached intermission 1-1, before the Revolution capitalized on penalties in the second.
Both Mike Mania and Noah Bradley scored powerplay tallies in the second, along with Abouelhana adding an even strength goal late to make it a 4-2 game. Maryland’s Mac Brice found a shorthanded opportunity to tie the game at two after Mania’s goal, but less than two Minutes after Brice tied things up, Bradley parked himself to the right of the net and slid the puck in low on Del Tufo to put Philadelphia ahead for good. Abouelhana scored the final goal in the third, giving the Revs a 5-2 decision. Logan Kramsky started both games on the weekend, making 35 saves on 38 shots across both games. Anthony Del Tufo was the star of the weekend for Team Maryland after a tremendous start Sunday morning, giving Revolution players’ fits and stopping a whopping 56 of 61 pucks.
“I want to give our guys credit”, said Revolution Head Coach Jon Rogger. “They played hard and we scored 14 goals Saturday. This is junior hockey. I don’t care who you are, that’s hard to do. We fell behind today (Sunday) 1-0 and didn’t get down and be negative. They stayed positive, battled back, and four points is four points.”
The Philadelphia Revolution take a flight south to battle the North Carolina Golden Bears both Saturday and Sunday, before flying back and meeting with the rival New York ApplecoreMonday morning back at Revolution Ice Gardens.