Monday, March 10, 2008
I just finished the weekend at Quinnipiac University where I work part-time as a color analyst for the university's men's hockey team. It was the beginning of the always tough ECAC Playoffs and the Bobcats were getting ready to square off against the Brown University Bears in a best of 3 series (whom were defeated twice at the hands of Quinnipiac in the regular season).
The first game was played on Friday (March 7th, 2008) night at the TD Bank North Sports Center. If you were there you were treated to a wild, crazy, and unbelievable night of hockey. The Brown Bears played what I call a "Perfect Road Period". They were quicker, faster, and had great goaltending by Dan Rosen in the 1st.
The Bears took a lead going into the 2nd period on a goal by Sean Muncy. However, in the 2nd it all changed as the Bobcats goal barrage began. Brandon Wong, Ben Nelson (twice), and Bryan Leetch (twice, just like Nelson) scored goals in what seemed like a machine gun fire fashion (5 goals in the matter of 4 minutes and 12 seconds). This goal barrage ended the night for Brown goalie Dan Rosen, who had a stellar 1st period.
From this point, the obvious fan would believe that the game was over and done with - with the Bobcats up by a score of 5-1. However, you must remember that this is hockey and there was still plenty of time left.
The Brown Bears used the Bobcats undisciplined and quite frankly "dumb" penalties to crawl back into the game with their power play - which led to 2 goals in a row for the Bears. But, in response, the Bobcats' Jamie Bates fired back the what I thought "game clinching" goal late in the 2nd period for a 6-3 lead heading into the 3rd and final period of play. Boy, I was wrong.
The Bobcats continued to play undisciplined hockey and Brown scored 2 more goals. The first goal was scored on a power play and the second was scored on the tail-end of the power play (which to me, is basically a power play - as soon as the player steps out of the penalty box onto the ice). Now, down by 1 the Brown Bears pulled their goalie and tried to tie the game up to send it to OT.
After pulling their goalie there was a great veteran move made by Brown defenseman and team captain Sean Hurley. Hurley labored to get the puck as it just passed the red line (*Wink, wink* He knew what he was doing - definitely a heady play by a veteran). There was a icing call, which in my opinion should not of been, that ultimately led to a face-off in the Bobcats end. Shortly after the face-off, Brown pulled off the sensational comeback when Jeff Prough slammed one into the net with 5.4 seconds left to go in regulation to tie the game at 6.
Going into the OT session I had some thoughts looming in my mind. Thoughts of the potential defeat of Quinnipiac. If somehow the Bobcats lost this game, they may have never been able to recover from such a heartbreaking defeat the next day. This obviously would have heightened Brown's chances in the playoff series as they both had the momentum and confidence to "seal the deal". However, on this wild and crazy night where 12 goals had been scored already, the Bobcats showed why hockey is and always will be the most exciting sport there is.
David Marshall made a great move (off of the rebound from a shot by Eric Lampe) and scored the game winning goal at 11:58 left in the OT session. It was one of the craziest games I have ever seen, let alone done the color commentary for on the radio. It had just about everything you could imagine, both good and bad. The bad is that if you were not there; explaining and writing does not do it the proper justice. You had to see it to believe it!