March 2, 2012

Next Guy Up: Hopkins Downs Princeton 10-8

by Mark Macyk | Live Blog Replay |

Pierce Bassett made nine saves as Johns Hopkins held off Princeton 10-8 on Friday evening. (File photo)

© John Strohsacker/

PRINCETON, N.J. - No Chris Boland, no Wells Stanwick, no problem for Johns Hopkins.

The second-ranked Blue Jays defeated No. 12 Princeton 10-8 Friday at Sherrerd Field, despite the absence of two injured starting attackers. Junior John Kaestner filled in nicely, scoring the first two goals of his collegiate career for Hopkins, which received goals from eight different players.

“Next guy up,” Kaestner said. “Coach preaches it all the time. We all went to Hopkins, we’re all good enough. I expect to come in and do my job.”

In his first-ever start, Kaestner certainly did his job. His first goal kicked off a 4-1 fourth quarter run that put the game out of reach. His second proved to be the game-winner.

“It’s unexpected obviously,” Kaestner said. “But you just keep practicing. Keep working on the things you need to work on and get better and you’re ready when your number is called.”

Boland, a senior and the team’s leading scorer from 2011, is out indefinitely with a broken collarbone. Stanwick, a freshman who suffered an undisclosed injury, could be back as soon as Tuesday’s game against Manhattan.

“It’s been an interesting week,” said Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala. “Eventually, Coach [Bobby] Benson thought the best guy to fill the role was John Kaestner. It was the least disruptive way to do it. And here we go, he gets two goals for us.”

Hopkins never trailed after taking a 2-1 lead on Zach Palmer’s goal with 6:54 remaining in the first. Palmer finished with a goal and three assists. Mark Goodrich (two goals), John Ranagan (one goal, one assist) and Rob Guida (one goal, one assist) also had multi-point games for JHU.

Hopkins also dominated defensively, holding Princeton to a season-low in goals and holding star Tom Schreiber to a season-low three points (one goal, two assists).

“We’d like to think we have a pretty good guy in No. 51 [junior defenseman] Tucker Durkin,” Pietramala said. “We think he’s as good as anyone out there. This field had some pretty good defensemen on it tonight.”

Said Durkin: “We knew they were gonna come out and pick us a lot. They did that last year and were pretty successful... More than anything we tried to force guys to their weak hands. For most of the day we were able to do that. We wanted to force things down the alley. We knew anything down the alley, Pierce [Bassett] would eat up. We did a good job getting low angle shots and when we have Pierce, he can do that all day.”

Princeton (2-1) had won three straight against Hopkins (4-0) and this one started much like the others, with a Tiger lead, after Tucker Shanley scored 3:35 into the game. But Hopkins scored six of the next seven goals, held Princeton scoreless for over 25 minutes and without a shot in the second quarter.

“Last year we were a young team and we were on our heels,” Durkin said. “This year no one flinched. That was the motto all week. Don’t flinch. Before we know it, it’s 3-1 and everyone’s feeling good.”

Princeton mounted a comeback attempt in the second half, sending 29 shots toward JHU goalie Pierce Bassett. But the junior from Arizona made six saves in the frame to ensure the victory.

“If by chance they do get top side on us or make a big move,” Durkin said. “We know it’s okay because we got the big guy back there.”

Jeff Froccaro had two goals for Princeton and Mike Grossman one goal and two assists.

Princeton looks to bounce back against No. 4 North Carolina on March 10.

“They’re a great team,” Bassett, who finished with nine saves, said. “To come in and win on the road, in a great atmosphere, with a storied rivalry, I’m really proud of my team.”

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