(Photo Courtesy of Navy Athletics)
For the first time since 1969, the Navy Midshipmen leave Homewood field victors as they took down the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays 11-10 in a Friday night contest that saw the historic rivalry resumed for the first time since 2017.
On a day in which Navy’s Patrick Skalniak had six points (3G/3A), it was sophomore Max Hewitt that turned out to be the hero of the game.
Hewitt first got on the board early in the second quarter to help knot things, 3-3. The sophomore wouldn’t find the net again the fourth quarter, and he would do so when it mattered the most. Hewitt knotted things all up at 9 with 6:44 left and then again at 10 with 4:47 remaining. Less than a minute later, off the pass from Dane Swanson, he put in what would become the winner to put the Midshipmen grab the 11-10 win.
Hewitt’s three fourth-quarter goals were part of second half in which the Midshipmen outscored the Blue Jays 8-5 as they were able to get their offense going after a first half where Hopkins got up 5-3. Patrick Skalniak got all three of his goals during the third quarter, putting away the first as well as the last two scores of the quarter. His third of the day saw him beat the short-stick matchup with less than a minute left to tie things up at 7.
While the duo of Hewitt and Skalniak was heating up on one end, Pat Ryan was doing the same on the other end in cage for the Midshipmen. Ryan ended with 12 saves on the day, eight of which came in the second half as the Blue Jays took 22 shots in the final two periods and put 59% of those shots on cage.
Hopkins got three shots off following Hewitt’s final goal to try and tie things back up, but two would go wide and one would be stopped by Ryan.
The Blue Jays scored three consecutive goals within three minutes to take a 3-1 lead late in the first quarter and then scored twice more in the second to escape the turnover-riddled half with the two-goal, 5-3 lead.
Despite cleaning things up a bit in the second half, committing five turnovers as opposed to 13 in the first half and improving from 10-of-13 to 15-of-15 in the clearing game, the Hopkins would never see a lead again after falling down 7-5 with 5:10 in the third quarter.
Garrett Degnon led the Blue Jays with five points off four goals and one assists while Joey Epstein had two goals and two assists for four points. Both of Epstein’s goals came in the second half of play.
Tyler Dunn went 11-for-18 at the faceoff dot and Josh Kirson made seven saves.