March 15, 2008
Queens, N.Y. - Cooper MacDonnell scored three goals and added one assist as Loyola held on to defeat St. John's, 11-8, at DaSilva Field in Queens, N.Y. on Saturday afternoon. The Greyhounds, who built a 9-1 first-half lead, withstood a strong Red Storm rally to improve to 2-0 in ECAC play.
The Greyhounds trailed for four minutes and 15 seconds before a 9-0 run put the game decidedly in Loyola's favor. After St. John's scored the game's opening goal, Loyola answered with a man-up tally from Chris Basler and took the lead with Cooper MacDonnell's team-leading ninth goal of the season.
MacDonnell's goal, which gave Loyola a 2-1 edge, came with five minutes remaining in the opening quarter - and before the five minutes ran out, the `Hounds would build their advantage to 4-1. Only 44 seconds after MacDonnell's first goal of the day, junior Jimmy Daly connected on his second goal of the season.
Senior Shane Koppens, who entered the day with a team-high eight assists, would then take advantage of a dead-ball situation as a penalty on St. John's expired. Koppens found MacDonnell for his second goal of the day with only 18 seconds left in the quarter to give Loyola a 4-1 lead.
The second quarter was much more of the same for the Greyhounds. Koppens, MacDonnell and Basler each scored, as well as freshman Matt Langan, who scored twice, to build 9-1 advantage for Loyola at the half.
Loyola's defense, which allowed only four goals in its ECAC opener with Penn State, not only kept the Red Storm off the scoreboard in the second quarter, but kept St. John's from getting a shot on goal. Freshman goalie Jake Hagelin, who made three saves in the first quarter, was not tested in the second stanza.
This would change, however, in the third quarter when St. John's took back the game's momentum. The Red Storm outscored Loyola, 3-0, in the third quarter and reduced the deficit to five goals.
Early in the fourth quarter, St. John's trimmed the Loyola lead to 9-5 before MacDonnell found freshman Eric Lusby for his second goal of the season. The play, which featured a gutsy behind-the-back pass from MacDonnell, stopped a 4-0 Red Storm run.
St. John's drew as close as the final three-goal margin, but Loyola came away with the conference victory. A big part of the Greyhound win was the team's dominance in the face-off X with senior Tim McDermott and junior Michael Atkinson. Together, Loyola won 17-of-23 face-offs.
Loyola also maintained a groundball and clearing advantage as Hagelin made four fourth-quarter saves to give the freshman eight saves for the game.
The Greyhounds improve to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the ECAC, while St. John's falls to 0-5 on the year. Loyola returns to action for a rare mid-week game this Tuesday when it welcomes Siena to Diane Geppi-Aikens Field. That game is slated for a 3 p.m. face-off.