SYRACUSE, N.Y. â€“ Thereâ€™s no doubt senior Stephen Keogh has a flair for the dramatic. Keogh tallied his second overtime winner in seven days to propel top-ranked Syracuse (6-0) to a 5-4, double-overtime victory over No. 9 Johns Hopkins (5-2) in front of 8,241 fans Saturday, March 19 at the Carrier Dome.
Keogh scored 15 seconds into the second extra session, beating Hopkins goalie Pierce Bassett high with a running shot down the left alley. The goal capped an exciting week for Keogh, who also tallied the winning goal in OT last Saturday to lift Syracuse past Georgetown,9-8, at the Konica Minolta Faceoff Classic.
Against the Blue Jays, Keoghâ€™s heroics were set up by senior Joel White, who recovered the crucial ground ball off the faceoff in the second extra session. White passed to senior Jeremy Thompson and he dodged hard toward the cage, drawing a slide. Thompson flipped it to Keogh and he did the rest, burying his third goal of the night to keep Syracuse unbeaten.
â€œI knew once we got the ball our offense, which has so much firepower, was going to put the ball in the net,â€ Keogh said. â€œJoel made a good play, and Jeremy, hats off to him, made a terrific play. I was kind of firing blindly, but was just aiming for that area (up high).â€
Keoghâ€™s goal ended what proved to be the lowest scoring game in the Syracuse-Hopkins series since 1922 when the Orange defeated the Blue Jays, 3-1. It was the Orangeâ€™s fifth straight win against Hopkins and Syracuseâ€™s first victory when scoring five goals or less since it defeated Rutgers, 5-4, on April 3, 1982.
Keoghâ€™s three goals marked his 17th career hat trick and increased his career goals total to 113. Classmate Josh Amidon netted the Orangeâ€™s other two goals. Junior Tommy Palasek, who transferred to Syracuse from Hopkins in January, finished with a game-high two assists against his former team.
The affair was a closely-contested defensive battle the entire way. The two teams combined for only 58 shots. Syracuse did not score more than one goal in any quarter. The only quarter that featured multiple goals by either team was the second with Hopkins outscoring the Orange, 2-1. Both teams went stretches of more than 20 minutes without goals. Hopkins held Syracuse scoreless for 27:02 during the first and second quarters. The Orange kept the Blue Jays off the scoreboard for the gameâ€™s final 22:22 following Zach Palmerâ€™s goal with 3:07 to play in the third.
Amidon opened the game's scoring for Syracuse, notching his first of the night at the 13:55 mark of the first quarter. But the Hopkins defense clamped down after that. The Blue Jays did not surrender another goal until there was less than two minutes to play in the first half. Meanwhile, they scored three times in that span to claim a 3-1 lead.
Keogh finally ended the SU drought, finding the cage off a pass from Palasek with 1:53 to go in the second period to make the score 3-2 Hopkins at the half.
The two teams traded goals in the third quarter, and the Blue Jays maintained their 4-3 edge late into the fourth quarter before Amidon fed Keogh for a goal with 1:40 left, forcing overtime.
In the initial overtime period, Hopkins had the ball first, but senior goalie John Galloway stopped a John Ranagan shot to give possession to the Orange with three minutes to go. Syracuse searched for cracks in the Hopkins defense, but found nothing. Senior Jovan Miller finally let a shot go wide and Hopkins recovered the ground ball. However, the Blue Jays were unable to take advantage of the opportunity as Galloway won a race to the endline after a shot by Tim Donovan went wide with 1:30 remaining.
On the ensuing possession, Syracuse carried into the offensive end of the field and head coach John Desko called timeout. After the restart, a shot by Amidon was blocked by the Hopkins defense. The Orange came up with the ground ball, but Miller turned it over resulting in one last chance for Hopkins. Kyle Wharton drove from goal-line extended and beat Galloway for what he thought was the winning goal with less than five seconds to go, but the officials ruled Wharton stepped in the crease and the game continued, setting the stage for Keoghâ€™s game-winner at the beginning of the second overtime.
â€œI thought they did a great job with limiting our opportunities,â€ Desko said of Hopkins after the game. â€œWe kept playing and played great defense all day and that was the difference for us in this game.â€
The Orange held the Blue Jays to more than eight goals less than their season average (12.17 gpg) coming into Saturday. Syracuse also shut down their two most experienced attackmen, Chris Boland and Wharton, holding them without a point in the game. Credit for that goes to senior close defenseman John Lade, who guarded Boland, and classmate Thomas Guadagnolo, who covered Wharton.
Palmer and Ranagan each had two goals for the Blue Jays. Bassett took the hard-luck loss. He was superb in the cage for Hopkins, finishing with 16 saves. He had 14 stops in the second half to keep the Orange at bay before Keogh finally broke through late in regulation to tie the game.
The Blue Jays also received a tremendous effort from Matt Dolente, who won 10 of the gameâ€™s 14 faceoffs. His play helped Hopkins control the pace of play and limited Syracuseâ€™s offensive possessions.
Up next for the Orange is a road date with BIG EAST foe Villanova on Saturday, March 26. Game time is 7 p.m. at Villanova Stadium.
Game Notes: Sophomore defenseman Brian Megill recorded a career-high five caused turnovers against the Blue Jays â€¦ The victory was the 50th career win for Galloway â€¦ He is one shy of tying the NCAA record (51) held by Princetonâ€™s Scott Bacigalupo â€¦ The win was SUâ€™s second straight overtime victory and its seventh in its last eight extra-session games dating back to 2008.
Syracuse vs. Johns Hopkins