Riorden, No. 20 UAlbany Defeats No. 10 Johns Hopkins, 10-9
BALTIMORE, Md. – Freshman goalie Blaze Riorden had his best game of his short career, recording 20 saves to lead No. 20 University at Albany past No. 10 Johns Hopkins, 10-9, on Friday, April 5 at Homewood Field. The Great Danes have become road warriors having beaten both Syracuse and Johns Hopkins on the road in the same season for the first time since 2002.
“The defense forced Hopkins to take shots that a goalie should save,” said Riorden on his career day between the pipes. “Yes I had 20 saves but the defense played great as a unit and they should be credited with some of those saves.”
Miles Thompson extended his point streak to 32 games with five points on three goals and two assists. Not far behind Miles is his cousin Ty, who continued his point streak to 31 games with two points on two goals.
Miles cracked open the scoring for UAlbany (7-3) with two quick goals in a span of a minute and a half for the Great Danes first lead, 2-1, with 7:04 left in the first stanza. The second goal was a bang-bang play that started off with Matt Garziano, who found Miles on the left corner of the net.
Johns Hopkins (6-4) responded back with three straight goals in a matter of three and a half minutes to grab what would be its largest lead of the game (two), 4-2. The Blue Jays used three different scorers during the run to finish off the quarter (Zach Palmer, Rex Sanders, Wells Stanwick in that order).
In the second quarter, the Great Danes Tim Cox found a cutting Jimmy Haugen, who received the pass right in front of the net and sent a laser passed Blue Jays goalie Pierce Bassett. UAlbany then used a Thompson-to-Thompson connection (Miles from Ty) to tie the game for the third time at four with 11:25 to play in the half.
During a Johns Hopkins’ offensive possession, a Blue Jays’ offensive player sent a shot towards UAlbany goalie Blaze Riorden, who made the save. Unfortunately, the shot that the Blue Jays offensive player sent hit Riorden in a very soft spot, forcing him out of the game for two and half minutes.
Max Huber stepped up in Riorden’s absence, saving the one shot he saw to preserve the one-goal deficit at that point. Riorden returned at the 5:35 mark to finish out the game.
“Every day, we tell everyone whether you are the first person on the roster or the last you mean something to this team,” said Riorden on his teammate Huber. “Yesterday, we had a speech given to us that and someone one this team will have to step up this season and Max Huber stepped up with a key save in the game.”
However, Johns Hopkins’ midfielder John Greeley found some separation in a tight UAlbany defense to score the team’s lone goal of the quarter. The Blue Jays led the Great Danes, 5-4, at the half.
An impressive UAlbany defensive stand in the third quarter held Johns Hopkins scoreless on six shots. This was the first time this season that the Blue Jays were held scoreless in any quarter in regulation. The Great Danes scored twice in the third, one by Ryan Feuerstein and the other by Will Fuller, to swing momentum back in their favor and lead for the second time in the contest, 6-5.
Johns Hopkins Holden Cattoni tied the game for the fifth time to begin the fourth and final period. The Blue Jays Wells Stanwick facilitated the play for his only assist of the game.
Derrick Eccles impressive hustle play gave UAlbany a 7-6 lead with 12:45 remaining. Eccles began with a shot on net that was saved by Bassett. The saved bounced off Bassett and the sophomore midfielder picked up the loose ball in front of the net and sent a shovel-like shot for his first goal of the game.
Johns Hopkins’ Stanwick put the team on his back and scored back-to-back goals to cut the deficit to one, 9-8. Teammate Brandon Benn followed up with a one-timer from Lee Coppersmith to tie the game, 9-9, for the sixth time with 5:05 left in the game.
The play of the game came at the 2:01 mark in the fourth quarter. Riorden made his 20th save of the game and quickly passed it Doug Eich. Eich, a defensemen, took the ball the length of the field and rattled off a shot to the top right-hand corner of the net past Bassett for the game-winner.
“We have felt, since September, that we have something special,” said Coach Marr on the biggest win of the season. “Since moving Lyle to attack, we feel that there is a certain uniqueness about this team that makes it special. Special teams are mainly made up with great chemistry and how everyone respects one another and that is something we have right now.”
Johns Hopkins held advantages in shots, 44-30, ground balls, 34-25, and face-offs, 14-9. The Blue Jays allowed 10 goals for the first time in the all-time series (12 total games).
UAlbany’s Riorden recorded his seventh win of the season with 20 saves. Johns Hopkins’ Bassett tallied 15 saves on 25 chances in the loss.
The Great Danes, winners of three in a row and six of the last seven, quickly turnaround and face Hartford on Sunday, April 7 at John Fallon Field. Game is slated for 2 p.m.