A look around the Hockey East playoff picture as the league's first four series got underway on Friday night. For a point of reference, there's a brilliant Bill Simmons piece from like eight years ago about the levels of losing. It rates the different levels and is one of the finer things he's done before he fell of a cliff of egomanicalness (is that a word? no? It should be).
UMass 4, Notre Dame 3 (5 OT)
Ladies and gentlemen, your new longest game in college hockey history!
Shane Walsh scored 11:42 into the fifth overtime to give the UMass Minutemen a one game lead over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the longest college hockey game ever recorded.
Some stat takeaways that I'll just leave here:
- The game beat the previous record, set during a 2010 ECAC Quarterfinal between Quinnipiac and Union, by 80 seconds.
- The teams played the equivalent of two and a half full games, having played three periods of hockey, then three overtimes (second game), then another full overtime and a half or so. In total, 151 minutes of hockey ended up played.
- UMass outshot Notre Dame by 91-78. Notre Dame goalie Cal Petersen made 51 saves in overtime alone, finishing with 87 stops. Steve Mastalerz made 75 saves for UMass.
- The game went 111 minutes between goals.
- It finished around 2:30 AM ET after playing for five hours, 55 minutes of real time.
- It finished approximately 10 minutes before Alaska's 1-0 win over archrival Alaska-Anchorage, a game that started at 11:07 PM ET.
- It's only the first of three games. The teams will play again at Notre Dame on Saturday night. If the Fighting Irish win, there will be a third game on Sunday night. As a point of reference, after beating Union in 2010 in their five overtime game, Quinnipiac subsequently lost the next two and were eliminated from the playoffs.
Levels of Losing Meter: Level III - The Stomach Punch
Merrimack 3, Northeastern 2 (OT)
Kyle Singleton's first goal of the season came 2:24 into the extra frame, and the Huskies lost. A point of reference, Singleton is a senior who entered the game with only three assists on the year and a -11 rating. In 121 career games, he now has six goals and 13 assists. It was his first goal in roughly two years.
Singleton's goal came about 1:20 after John Gustafsson went to the box for tripping. If you're keeping score at home, that means it was a shortie.
So let's recap. Down 2-0 in the third, the Huskies rallied to force overtime. In overtime, they cough up a short-handed goal to a guy who had 18 career points in 121 games and a season plus/minus of -10 (or thereabouts). Merrimack won despite going for 10 penalties and 31 penalty minutes, including a five minute major and game misconduct assessed to Hampus Gustafsson 58 seconds into the game.
Northeastern went just 1-for-8 on the power play, but they coughed up a short handed goal...IN OVERTIME. They had a five minute major and a top line Merrimack player in the showers...IN THE FIRST MINUTE.
It really never gets old.
Levels of Losing Meter: Level VII - The Drive-By Shooting
UNH 5, UConn 2
That's the sound of fans diving off the #icebus while feverishly looking for their UConn women's basketball T-shirt.
UNH went 3-for-4 on the power play and was up 4-0 after before the game's halfway point. They scored two power play goals within 20 seconds of each other during the middle period and never really looked back.
Levels of Losing Meter: Level IX - The Full-Fledged Butt-Kicking
Vermont 4, Maine 2
The Privitera brothers scored twice (hey, remember when Alexxxxxxxxxxxx played for BU?) as the Catamounts rallied from a 2-1 third period deficit to pick up the win up in Burlington. Brendan Bradley scored the game winning goal with an assist to Brady Shaw, and the duo flip-flopped on their empty net goal as Bradley picked up an assist on Shaw's empty net goal.
Levels of Losing Meter: Level XVI - The Princeton Principle