Blogs and Commentary

posted 04.25.2012 at 2.30 p.m. by Gary Lambrecht

Johns Hopkins Can't Find Its Way in April

There used to be a time in the Dave Pietramala era at Johns Hopkins when the Blue Jays owned the month of April. Well, not anymore. Not, at least, in 2012.

On the heels of their shocking, 8-2 loss at unranked Navy on Saturday, the 10th-ranked Blue Jays (9-3) are still on course to make their 41st consecutive NCAA tournament. But, thanks to an offense that has gone into a deep freeze this month, Hopkins appears to be fading fast. Unless they rally to beat top-ranked Loyola on Saturday -- a school the Blue Jays have bested in 46 of 49 attempts -- Hopkins will have to beat Army on Homecoming Day just to have a chance at hosting a playoff game.

The April freeze began after halftime in a 9-6 loss to Maryland on April 14, when the Blue Jays went scoreless for more than the game's final 29 minutes and blew a 6-3 lead. Then came the total meltdown at Navy, where Hopkins trailed 8-1, thanks in large part to Midshipmen goalie R.J. Wickham (18 saves), and scored its final goal of the contest with 2:44 left.

Get this. The Hopkins scoring output was the lowest since a 7-1 loss at Princeton in 1966 -- the year before Pietramala was born. Between their final goal against Maryland and their final score at Navy, the Blue Jays scored once in a span of 86 minutes, 33 seconds.

When you consider that, against Maryland and Navy, Hopkins won a combined 23 of 33 faceoff attempts, the scoring drought must be especially galling to Blue Jays fans.

Also just as galling is this. Hopkins usually is kicking into late-season gear around this time, as the Blue Jays posted a 49-7 record in April in Pietramala's first 11 seasons. Heading into Loyola on Saturday, Hopkins is 1-3 this month and is guaranteed a losing record in April.