BALTIMORE – Second-ranked Johns Hopkins built a 6-3 halftime lead, pushed the margin to 8-4 early in the fourth quarter and then held off a furious rally by 18th-ranked Loyola to secure an 8-7 win against the Greyhounds. The win, Johns Hopkins’ sixth consecutive overall and 12th in a row against Loyola, improves the Blue Jays’ record to 11-2 on the year. Loyola, which entered with a five-game winning streak of its own, slips to 8-4.
After battling to a 3-3 tie through the first 25 minutes of the game, the Blue Jays gave themselves some breathing room with a three-goal spurt in the final 4:30 of the second quarter to take the 6-3 halftime lead.
John Ranagan picked the top corner on an ally dodge to jump-start the spree, which also included goals by Rob Guida and Lee Coppersmith. Guida worked his way up field from behind the goal and blistered a left-handed shot just inside the cross bar to far post, while Coppersmith scored on an ally dodge of his own to give the Blue Jays the three-goal lead.
After the teams traded goals in the third quarter, the Blue Jays took their largest lead of the game at 8-4 just under five minutes into the fourth quarter when Kyle Wharton slipped inside a defender and scored from in close with 10:23 remaining.
As it turned out, that would be the only shot the Blue Jays would take in the fourth quarter. In fact, Loyola outshot Johns Hopkins in the second half, 16-4. Chris Palmer’s 11th goal of the season 68 seconds later ignited the `Hounds game-ending three-goal run, which also included D.J. Comer’s second goal of the game less than 90 seconds later. When leading scorer Mike Sawyer stuck his only goal of the game with 1:53 remaining, the Greyhounds had all of the momentum.
Loyola had possession in the final 90 seconds inside the Blue Jays’ zone on two occasions, but a shot attempt by Palmer was blocked and Sawyer’s final shot went wide as time expired.
“I thought that we played awful hard today,” Loyola head coach Charley Toomey said. “We saw some guys grow up a lot who are in our locker room today, and we will need that for next weekend in the ECAC Tournament.”
Palmer opened the scoring for Loyola when beat JHU’s Pierce Bassett after sweeping across the top of the box and firing home a left-handed shot that found the bottom corner. Zach Palmer and Ranagan scored back-to-back goals in a 70-second span midway through the first quarter to give the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead.
That lead held until Comer and Davis Butts wrapped goals around a John Greeley tally for the Blue Jays in a nine-minute span that bridged the first and second quarters. Ranagan’s second goal five minutes after the Butts tally gave JHU the 4-3 lead that eventually swelled to 8-4 before Loyola’s late-game rally.
Ranagan (two goals) and Greeley (one goal and one assist) were the only Blue Jays to register multi-point games. Bassett posted seven saves in goal for JHU, which also got a 10-of-17 showing on faceoffs from Matt Dolente, who also grabbed a game-high eight ground balls.
Comer netted a game-high three points on two goals and one assist, while Palmer (two goals), Butts (one goal, one assist) and Chris Basler (two goals) also had multi-point games. Jake Hagelin posted six saves in goal for the Greyhounds.