March 19, 2005
Baltimore, Md. - A very balanced scoring attack and a stingy defense led Loyola to a 6-3 win over St. John's on Saturday afternoon at Diane Geppi-Aikens Field. Six different Greyhounds scored goals and eight different players earned points as Loyola earned its first ECAC victory of the season.
"The execution has gotten a lot better over the past three games," says Loyola Head Coach Bill Dirrigl. "We did a lot of good things today, but still have plenty to work on. Looking at the stat sheet, we had 46 shots and only six goals. We won today, but need to convert on more of our shots to win consistently."
The Greyhounds did win the battle of the stat sheet, taking 46 shots to St. John's 22 while picking up 34 groundballs to the Red Storm's 22. Loyola was also successful on 16-of-18 clears and started the game with 14 consecutive successful clears.
St. John's, which only attempted four shots in the first quarter, drew first blood when Graeme Gillespie scored an unassisted goal at 12:04. Loyola senior Chris Einhorn, who started for the first time this season, evened the game with his goal and assist from Cory Coffman at 3:29 of the period.
A goal from Patrick Kennedy at 1:58 and a goal from Jordan Rabidou with nine seconds remaining the period gave the Greyhounds a 3-1 lead heading into the second quarter. St. John's scored the only extra-man goal of the day to cut the deficit to one, but three minutes later Greg Leonard fired a shot past goalie Dave Saccente and the `Hounds led 4-2 at the half.
Sophomore Joe Landry converted on one of Loyola's 13 third-quarter shots and the defense held the Red Storm to zero goals on five shots to move the advantage to 5-2. Andrew Spack capped the scoring with his fifth goal of the season as goalie Michael Fretwell made seven saves to preserve the win.
"Winning an ECAC game is very important," says Loyola co-captain Grant Halford. "But with three losses, even though they were close games, every win is important. We have to take it one game at a time and not get too far ahead of ourselves."
Halford's defensive unit has given up seven or fewer goals in four of Loyola's five games this season. St. John's three-goal output is the lowest point total an opponent has had since Loyola's 10-3 win over Mount St. Mary's on February 25, 2003.
"The offense will come around," adds Halford. "In the meantime, if the defense needs to hold opponents to five goals to win games, that's what we'll have to do."
Steven Hess and Geoff Hunter each picked up four groundballs for the `Hounds, as did Jeff Russell, who won 7-of-12 faceoffs on the day. Einhorn and Landry each added an assist to their goals while Rabidou's goal extends his scoring streak to four games. Red Storm goalie Dave Saccente registred a career-high 16 saves.
Loyola is now2-3 overall and 1-1 in the ECAC while St. John's drops to 2-4 on the year and 0-2 in the league. The Greyhounds continue conference play next Saturday when they host Massachusetts at 1 p.m.