BALTIMORE, MD - Junior Steven Boyle (Derry, NH/Pinkerton Academy) and sophomore Kyle Wharton (Great Valley, PA/Haverford School) combined for seven goals and two assists and the Johns Hopkins defense held visiting Siena scoreless for the final 45:50 as the fourth-ranked Blue Jays eased past the Saints, 11-3, at chilly Homewood Field Friday night. The Blue Jays, who won for the seventh time in nine season-openers under head coach Dave Pietramala, outscored the Saints 9-0 over the final three quarters. The three goals are the fewest JHU has allowed in a season opener since allowing just three against Yale in 1982.
Siena led 3-2 entering the second quarter as Brian Neufeld (Virgil, Ontario/Niagara District) scored twice in the opening 15 minutes to give the Saints the one-goal lead. The Blue Jays tied the game just under eight minutes into the second period when Boyle threaded a pass from along the goal line to senior Mark Bryan (Niskayuna, NY/Niskayuna) on the crease and Bryan one-timed a shot past Tom Morr (Rockville Centre, NY/Chaminade). Five minutes later Wharton scored his second of the game off a nice cut and feed from junior Michael Kimmel (Towson, MD/Loyola) to give the Blue Jays the lead for good. Hopkins carried the 4-3 lead into halftime.
It took just nine seconds for the Blue Jays to extend the lead to 5-3 in the third quarter as Boyle handcuffed Morr from seven yards out right off the faceoff and Brian Christopher (Springfield, PA/Springfield) pushed the lead to 6-3 three minutes later when he blew a shot past Morr from nearly the same spot as Boyle had scored from. Bryan came up with a loose ball on the opposite side of the field and found Christopher alone on the backside, where he wasted little time before putting it home.
Boyle added a pair of goals - both assisted by Christopher - in the final 6:02 of the third quarter to push the lead to 8-3. Both goals came after some nifty passing as the Blue Jays moved ball well against the Siena defense. Christopher found Boyle cutting from the goal line on both goals and Boyle scored from in tight both times.
Wharton and Boyle sandwiched fourth quarter goals around the first career tally by freshman Marshall Burkhart (Dublin, OH/Dublin Jerome) to account for the final scoring, but by that time the story had turned from the Blue Jay offense to the Blue Jay defense. Hopkins didn't allow the Saints to get off a shot in the third quarter and Siena managed just six shots in the fourth, only two of which were on goal.
Wharton had opened the scoring 5:30 into the game when Boyle found him on the backside and he ripped a shot into the far top corner. Neufeld knotted the game just over three minutes later when he shoveled a loose ball in front of the crease into an open net. Jordan Loftus (Watertown, NY/IHC/Onondaga CC) added a transition goal three minutes later to give the Saints a 2-1 lead and Kimmel and Neufeld traded goals over the final three minutes to make it 3-2 Siena at the end of one period. That lead held until Bryan's goal ignited the 9-0 run to end the game.
Boyle's four goals tied his career high, while his six points are a personal best. Wharton's three goals are just one less than he scored all of last year, while Christopher's two assists and three points both matched career highs. Junior Michael Gvozden (Millersville, MD/Severna Park) posted eight saves in goal for the Blue Jays, who have now held the opposition scoreless for a stretch of 25 minutes or longer 14 times since the start of the 2007 season. In all, eight of Johns Hopkins' 11 goals were assisted.
Neufeld was the only Siena player to register a multi-point game as his two goals led the way for the Saints. Morr posted eight saves in goal for Siena, but the Saints turned the ball over 29 times, were outshot 37-23 (21-6 in the second half) and lost the ground ball battle 37-31.
Johns Hopkins will return to action next Saturday (February 28) when the Blue Jays play Princeton in the first game of the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium. Game time is set for noon.
Johns Hopkins vs. Siena