The Albany Great Danes got a HUGE win for the program earlier this year over Syracuse, and that win has kept them buoyed in, or near, the Top 20 for much of the year. With their 10-9 win at Johns Hopkins on Friday night, the Danes are sure to move up in the standings, and they could even reach as high as #14 or 15.
Photo Credit: Rich Barnes
The game was really tight throughout, and while Hop started out hot, generating a great Zach Palmer chance on an early man up, neither team built up a dominant lead for long. Wells Stanwick broke the scoreless game open a little later with his 19th goal of the year, and Hop was leading 1-0 early on.
Albany almost tied the game up with about 10 minutes left in the first, but Pierce Basset made a top quality save to keep Albany at zero, at least for the time being. Albany then weathered a Hop possession, got a good save of their own, and drew a flag on the clear. Lyle Thompson then got the ball to Miles, who managed to muscle Tucker Durkin to get position (it’s true, he did), and then finished inside around Bassett. 1-1 game.
As the game wore on, we were treated to some really slick stick skills from both the Hop and Albany attack lines, but we also saw some really solid one on one, and team, defense. Miles Thompon’s second goal of the game, to give Albany their first lead, was a perfect righty quick stick, and it again showcased how dangerous all six attackmen on the field truly are. Palmer tying the game up at 2 goals apiece with a nice piece of one on one dodging only reinforced that fact.
Rex Sanders scored the fifth goal of the game off a split dodge from up top, and Hop lead once again with 3:25 left in the 1st. When Wells Stanwick notched his second of the game, with 2:45 left in the first, it looked like Hop was about to go on a continued run, and begin to create some separation, especially after Mike Pompleton won the ensuing face off. Brandon Benn created a nice inside chance, but was turned away by Blaze Riordan, who played a great game overall. The quarter ended with Hop up 4-2, but it was clear that Albany was there to play.
At the 12:39 mark of the second, Albany got on the board again, making the score 4-3, with a nice midfield rip. The teams traded saves, and then out of nowhere Blaze Riordan hit Miles Thompson with a 60 yard pass and then Miles found Ty with a nasty cross crease pass, and we were knotted at 4. Riordan with the hockey assist.
Riordan then made some saves, and eventually took a Brandon Benn rip right to his groin from point blank range. He went to the locker room, and Max Hubert, out of Illinois, stepped in-between the pipes. Hubert made a big save on John Ranagan to get going. Albany then generated a great chance, but Bassett snuffed it out for his fourth save of the night. Riordan re-entered the game for Albany after time out and made a nice save on Palmer.
Hopkins then maintained possession for 2 minutes before John Greeley put Hop up 5-4 in a timer on situation. He finished in tight off a nice face dodge with 2 and a half minutes left in the half. Albany got the ball back, but neither team generated a great chance, and Hop entered halftime up by 1 goal.
The Lyle Thompson – Tucker Durkin battle continued in the second half, and was definitely one of the highlights of the game. Tucker had an advantage in size and strength, but any time Thompson looked like he was in trouble, he did well to keep dodging and causing problems.
Transition play resulted in chances for both teams, but the goalies were on point. Neither team scored for a run of 12:35, even with 3 man up chances (2 for UA, 1 for Hop) but Albany eventually broke the drought to tie the game at 5 after Lyle Thompson drew attention and then kicked the ball up top to Ryan Feuerstein, who dodged and canned a righty shot from about 12 yards out, for his 10th of the season. One minute later, Will Fuller gave Albany the 6-5 lead off a lefty rip, assisted by, who else, Miles Thompson. It was a GREAT pass.
The third ended with Albany up by that same 6-5 lead, and it was almost bumped to 7-5, but Bassett made another great save on a low to low Miles Thompson snipe with 10 seconds left. The fourth opened up pretty quickly as Holden Cattoni finished in close lefty off a Stanwick feed. Cattoni is another Canadian finished for Hop, and will be a player to watch as he develops his field game. With 13:54 left in the fourth, we were knotted at 6.
Albany kept the pressure up, and made good on a second opportunity play as Derrick Eccles picked up a loose ball rebound, and flipped it past Bassett backhand, to put the Danes up 7-6. With 12 minutes left, it looked like we might have a defensive battle on our hands, at least for the remainder of the game, but the rest of the way we saw a goal every two minutes on average.
With 9:41 left, Albany increased their lead to 2 goals, as Lyle Thompson picked up a loose ball high in the box off a turnover, and got it to Miles Thompson, who got position over Jack Reilly to score low on Bassett. Wells Stanwick got his third unassisted goal when Albany’s D didn’t slide or switch correctly and Albany’s lead was down to 1.
Jimmy Hogan found Ty Thompson inside off a face off win almost immediately, and at the 8:10 mark the Danes were up 9-7 on the home team. Stanwick scored ANOTHER unassisted goal (his fourth) at the 6:57 mark to bring Hop back to one down. With just over 5 minutes left in the game, Brandon Benn tied it up at 9 goals apiece off the right wing.
3 minutes passed, and neither team managed a goal. Hopkins went on the man up, but couldn’t score and after Blaze Riordan made yet another save, he found Doug Eich with an outlet pass, and Eich took the ball to the cooked! The long pole showed no fear, Albany didn’t call a time out, and Doug Eich became the hero of the game when he notched the winning goal with just over 2 minutes left.
This was a FANTASTIC game, and it featured excellent plays on offense, defense, and especially in goal. The Lyle Thompson – Tucker Durkin match up was awesome to watch all night, and Miles Thompson and Wells Stanwick went off, scoring in bunches.
This was Albany’s second win ever over Johns Hopkins, with their last win coming in 2007, in both team’s season openers.