The Hockey East tournament already got off to a historic start.
UMass beat Notre Dame 4-3 in the first game of their opening round series Friday, but it took five overtime periods and a record amount of time for them to get there. The first-round matchup lasted 151 minutes and 42 seconds, just surpassing Quinnipiac and Union’s 150-minute, 22-second battle in an Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference quarterfinal game in 2010 as the longest game in NCAA Division I hockey history.
The Minutemen overcame quite a bit to earn the win. The Fighting Irish opened the scoring midway through the first period and had a 3-1 lead 14:24 into the second frame. But Steve Iacobellis’ second goal of the night brought UMass within a score just over a minute later, and Troy Power evened things up with two seconds to go in the middle period.
Then, it took almost two hours of hockey before another puck hit the back of the net.
“It felt like it was never going to end,” Notre Dame senior defenseman Robbie Russo said, per ESPN.com. “It just felt like the puck was never going to go in.”
It was a blocked shot that ricocheted off Russo’s stick and rebounded to UMass junior forward Shane Walsh that allowed the Minutemen to score 11:42 into the fifth OT.
“I’m awfully proud and happy for our guys,” UMass coach John Micheletto said, via ESPN.com. “You like them to be rewarded. They believed and stuck to the game plan.”
Despite the loss, Fighting Irish goaltender Cal Petersen also set a D-I record with 87 saves.
UMass and Notre Dame square off again Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. ET. The winner of the series gets to play No. 14 UMass-Lowell in the Hockey East tournament quarterfinals.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@shnarped
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