Quinnipiac Tops Union in 5th OT; Longest NCAA Game of All-Time
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Only two games in NCAA history have gone to five overtimes. Union has played in them both, and hosted them both. And now lost in them both.
Quinnipiac's Greg Holt scored at 10:32 of the fifth overtime Friday, giving the Bobcats a 1-0 advantage in the Best-of-3 ECAC quarterfinal series. The 150:32 total time featured 130 shots, including a school-record 75 by the Dutchmen. Quinnipiac goalie Dan Clarke made an ECAC Tournament-record 73 saves; he allowed two goals in the first 10 minutes and none in the next 140. Meanwhile, Union freshman Keith Kinkaid made 52 saves in his postseason debut.
The game's length surpassed the March 2, 2006 ECAC First Round series game at Messa Rink, when Yale defeated Union.
On Holt’s goal, Brandon Wong took control of the puck deep in the Bobcats' defensive zone and took off down ice. After crossing over center, Wong dropped a pass to D’Arcy Oakes, who sent the puck around the boards. Holt picked up the puck behind the net, to the right of Kinkaid in goal. Holt spun and fired a shot under Kinkaid’s right arm for the game winner.
“I got the puck, made one move and another move and had (Kinkaid) beat,” Holt told the New Haven Register. “I shot the puck and it went in short side."
For one team, it was an exhausted celebration. For the other, exhausted devastation.
“It’s an awesome experience,” Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold told the Register. “I’m so proud of my guys and how hard they played. Our shot-blocking was awesome and so was Clarke. We gritted it out and found a way to win.”
Union coach Nate Leaman was obviously less excited.
"It doesn't mean anything to me, unless you win the game," Leaman told the Schenectady Gazette.
After a 19-shot first period, Union had one shot in the second period.
"We had a lot of chances there," Leaman told the Gazette. "Outside of the second period, I thought we carried the play for the majority of the game. I'm just disappointed that I thought we played our game plan to a 'T' the first period, and we had a lot of success, and then we got away from our game plan. We were kind of struggling to get back to it the rest if night.
"I thought that we thought it was going to be easy after that."
Stephane Boileau put Union on the board just over seven minutes into the first period with his eighth goal of the season. After a flurry of shots on Clarke, Quinnipiac turned it over in front of the net. Boileau stole the puck and put a shot on goal, beating Clarke for the playoff series' first goal. Less than three minutes later, on the power play at the 9:42 mark, it was Mario Valery-Trabucco with his 22nd goal of the year to give the Dutchmen a two-goal lead. Kelly Zajac sent the puck to Jason Walters, who put a shot on goal. Valery-Trabucco picked the puck out of the year and banged it past Clarke to put Union out in front, 2-0.
Scott Zurevinski cut the Union lead in half at the 13:01 mark of the first period. Jeremy Langlois tied the game at the 1:12 mark of the second period. Zach Davies took control of the puck in the Union zone and skated up ice. He sent a pass to Holt, who carried the puck deep along the boards before centering a pass to Langlois. Langlois’ eighth goal of the year tied the game at 2-2.
And then came six periods of scoreless hockey — two full games worth.
Union, which had a first-round bye, has never advanced past this round of the ECAC playoffs. Game 2 is Saturday at 7 p.m. with Union needing a win to survive.