In another overtime thriller, Johns Hopkins walked away the winner. For 59 minutes Ryan Brown was quiet, held without a goal. Nick Mellen had been like a shadow on the Hopkins stud attackman. With the Jays down by one, Shack Stanwick held the ball behind cage. The Orange defense sluffed off Brown as he stood on the wing, and Stanwick hit him with a pass. Brown needed only a few milliseconds to set his feet for his trademark cannon. He fired the shot which even when replaying in slow motion it is hard to follow the ball, and it found its mark in the back of the net about thigh high. Warren Hill didn't appear to be able to track the rocketing shot. Just like that, Hopkins tied up the game.
Everything had been coming up blue in the fourth quarter and it didn't stop in overtime. With 2:09 remaining in the extra time period, Drew Supinski took a shot from the wing. Hill was able to get a piece of it, but it ricochet and bounced upwards. Wilkins Dismuke stood on the opposite side of the crease and was able to grab the ball out of midair and bury the rebound for an easy goal. That was that.
I'll go ahead and take the karmic blame for that final goal. Sent this out at halftime...
So I guess that's my bad fellas.
The Syracuse Orange were one of four, undefeated teams coming into the game. Now there only remains three. As we know, however, this SU-Hopkins matchup doesn't take records or statistics into account.
The game started off slow. The bitter cold weather may have stiffened up both squads as they battled snow and rain throughout the game. The Orange got off to a 2-0 lead as the first quarter horn sounded. Dylan Donahue picked up the third goal of the game, and his 125 goal of his career, he's one of 14 SU players to reach that milestone. It would be his only goal of the contest in a quiet game for the SU leader.
Hopkins finally got on the board on a dodge by Drew Supinski to make it 4-1 SU. The freshman finished with two goals on the day.
We saw a lot of offense in the second quarter. The two teams combined for nine second period goals. Ben Williams dominated the faceoff X in the first half, nabbing nine of 13 faceoff matchups. His second half was not as impressive as he finished 13-24 overall. Also of note, with 2:22 remaining in the game, Williams picked up a thirty second penalty for his third faceoff violation of the half.
It was in the third quarter where things started to turn. Syracuse simply couldn't find the net. SU didn't score until 12 seconds left in the third, but gave up three goals to Hopkins, two of which came off the crosse of Cody Radziewicz. With Syracuse keeping close watch on Stanwick and Brown, Radziewicz, a Syracuse native, was able to put up a hat trick on the day with back-to-back-to-back goals.
The Orange opened the fourth quarter up 8-7. There was a lot of unease at that point, as SU had allowed the Jays to get back in the game. Hopkins tied up the game less than a minute into the fourth. Syracuse got some separation with two straight goals from Mariano and Sergio Salcido. John Crawley picked up his only goal of the game on a dodge down the alley before Ryan Brown tied the game to send it to overtime.
The SU defense did a great job today, especially in the first half. As I mentioned, Nick Mellen had a fantastic game, and I think we can officially call him a "lock-down" defender. Big ups to Brandon Mullins as well. The duo held Brown and Stanwick to a combined three assists and one goal. As a team, SU took home 26 groundballs to Hopkins' 18.
Nick Mariano continues to be an offensive powerhouse. Today he had three tallies, including one of the best goals of the season. With 12:51 left in regulation, Mariano found himself hung up behind the net. He caught the Jays defense a little too far out, took three steps to get around the cage enough to put an underhanded, backhand shot around JHU goalie Brock Turnbaugh, hitting the far side corner.
Speaking of Brock, the Hopkins goaltender made ten saves on the game. His counterpart, Hill, picked up five, and his first quarter performance was probably his best quarter of the year. That being said, there continues to be reason for concern regarding the OCC transfer. Hill has a slow stick. It's shown up numerous times this year, including and especially in the UVA game, but it has become a problem. It is most noticeable on off-stick side shots where oftentimes his stick doesn't even make it across the plane of his body.