March 18, 2006
Queens, N.Y. - Senior Goalie Michael Fretwell made 16 saves and allowed just five goals as the Greyhounds edged out St. John's on Saturday afternoon in Queens, N.Y. Juniors Andrew Spack and Ryan Rabidou each scored two goals to give Loyola the 6-5 win and a 2-0 start in ECAC play this season.
"We knew St. John's was a good team and we weren't looking past them," says Fretwell. "But I think we underestimated them and found ourselves in a real battle."
The Greyhounds controlled the ball for much of the first quarter, out-shot the Red Storm 9-3, and had an 11-3 edge in groundballs, but found themselves trailing 1-0 after 15 minutes of play. Loyola, held scoreless in the first quarter for the first time all season, answered with a man-up goal from Ryan Rabidou at the 10-minute mark of the second quarter.
St. John's was able to re-gain its lead with a goal from Tom Michaelsen at 8:10 and pushed its advantage to 3-1 with a man-up tally at 2:25. The Greyhounds, facing a 3-1 deficit as the half was closing, scored a transition goal (Ryan Rabidou from Dan Bauers) with 32 seconds left on the clock to take a little momentum into the lockeroom.
"It sounds like a broken record, but we've been here before," says Rabidou in reference to the halftime deficit. "Fortunately, we've been able to pull out these games and play well in the second half."
The second half began the same way the first half was played - with defense playing the central theme. The Loyola defense, which allowed three first-half goals, held the Red Storm scoreless in the third quarter while the offense settled in.
Loyola's third man-up opportunity of the day gave the Greyhounds the offensive edge they were looking for and junior Andrew Spack took advantage, scoring the game's equalizer off an assist from junior Dan Bauers at 7:48. Spack then gave Loyola its first lead of the day, shooting low to beat Red Storm goalie Dave Saccente. A third goal in the third quarter, a strike from Bauers to close the stanza, gave Loyola a 5-3 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Red Storm; however, battled their way back into the game and tied the score at 5-5 with eight minutes left in regulation. Loyola junior Patrick Kennedy, the team's leading scorer heading into the game, gave the Greyhounds a 6-5 lead with his left-handed strike on a broken play at 6:46.
Fretwell, who registered a season-high 16 saves on the day, preserved the win with big saves down the stretch, including a low stick save on Justin O'Donnell's good look with one minute left to play.
"I really felt good after a few stops in the third quarter," says Fretwell. "The defense had some pressure in the fourth quarter and played very good. When I see those guys play well, it gives me a lot of confidence."
The Greyhounds, now 3-2 overall, are 2-0 in the ECAC while St. John's falls to 0-2 in the conference. Loyola continues its four-game road trip at conference foe Massachusetts next Saturday.