ANNAPOLIS, MD – RJ Wickham made his final career game at Navy’s Marine Corps Stadium one to remember as the senior totaled 18 saves, including several point-blank stops, to lead the unranked Midshipmen to an 8-2 win over sixth-ranked Johns Hopkins Saturday afternoon. The win evens Navy’s record at 6-6, while the Blue Jays slip to 9-3.
Hopkins outshot the Mids 16-12 in the first half, but managed just one goal in the opening 30 minutes and found itself trailing 3-1 at halftime as first-quarter goals by Pat Durkin, Taylor Reynolds and Nikk Davis all scored in the final eight minutes of the first quarter to account for all the goals the Navy would need to lead at halftime.
Durkin’s empty-net goal after a failed JHU double-team midway through the first quarter gave Navy a lead it would never relinquish and Reynolds fired one home just over two minutes later off a nice cut to the goal make it 2-0. When Davis scored with 20 seconds remaining in the first period the Mids had crafted their three-goal lead.
Hopkins finally got on the board with 4:29 remaining in the first half when Brandon Benn found Zach Palmer alone on the doorstep and he beat Wickham from in tight to make it 3-1.
Hopkins had a golden opportunity to make it a one-goal game early in the third quarter as Palmer zipped a cross-field pass to Benn on the backdoor, but Wickham stoned him and Navy went the other way; just over a minute later Sam Jones scored the first of his three second-half goals to ignite a 5-0 Navy run that pushed the lead out to 8-1 midway through the final period.
Jones’ goal, which also came into an empty net after JHU doubled the ball behind the goal, was followed three minutes later by Erik Hoffstadt’s nifty strike on a dodge to goal line extended. There, he whipped a tough-angle shot past JHU’s Pierce Bassett for his sixth goal of the season.
Durkin added a second goal in the final three minutes of the third quarter before Jones added his second and third of the day – both times beating a double team behind the goal and scoring into an open net – to account for the 8-1 advantage. A Greg Edmonds goal for JHU with 2:44 remaining accounted for the final scoring.
Wickham’s 18 saves matched his season high set two weeks ago in a loss to Maryland and mark the fifth time in his career that he has posted 18 or more saves. Jones added an assist to go along with his three goals, while Durkin added the two goals.
Johns Hopkins held a 30-26 advantage in shots and junior Mike Poppleton’s 8-of-13 showing on faceoffs helped the Blue Jays to a 9-of-14 advantage at the X, but the Blue Jays couldn’t overcome Wickham’s senior-day performance in goal and fell to the Midshipmen for the second time in three years.
#6 Johns Hopkins (9-3) 0-1-0-1/2
Navy (6-6) 3-0-3-2/8
Goals: J: Palmer, Edmonds. N: Jones-3, Durkin-2, Hoffstadt, Reynolds, Davis. Assists: J:Benn. N: Hull, Jones, Voumard. Saves: J: Bassett-7. N: Wickham-20. Shots: J-30. N-26. EMO: J: 1-for-5. N: 0-for-3. Attendance: 11,917.