Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Best Team Doesn't Always Win.

Or a goalie standing on his head , a freshman at that, can steal you one; or this is why they play the games. You pick your preferred title.
We went to the final game of the 2015 Ice Breaker Tournament last night, which is the traditional tipoff of the college hockey season, this year held in Portland, Maine.  $25 got you a ticket to both games held that day but I wasn't going to torture Shelly with that much sports in a day or $45 would get you a ticket to all four games.
Portland is renowned as one of the best restaurant towns in the country. So we had dinner at an excellent Greek restaurant, walked around the city a bit and went to the finale, which turned out to be the game to decide the tourney winner between the host Maine Black Bears and Brent's highly-ranked North Dakota Fighting  Sioux.
There was never any doubt as to which was the superior team -- just look at the shots on goal difference of 2/1.  North Dakota dominated puck possession and zone time.  They're much more polished and experienced, and probably more talented but they couldn't solve Maine freshman goalie Rob McGovern, who turned away 43 of 44 SOG!
To me the turning point of the game came in the 2nd. ND was up up 1-0, was continuing to dominate and I noticed the Maine players start to look dispirited...this was going to get ugly.  But suddenly there was a sloppy clearing pass by ND and a very quick goal for Maine.  While the Souix continued to dominate, Maine played hard again from that point forward, a lesson for you youngsters out there.
Portland is going to bid to host a 2018 regional and I hope they showed the arena and city quite capable last night.


Greg DeBeck said...

My wife and I used to go see them play at Alfond quite often years ago. We went with another couple one night, and WHAT A GAME it was! They were playing (you guessed it) North Dakota that night too. In fact there was quite a rivalry between the two teams at the time. My memory is a little foggy as to the details, but I remember AFTER the buzzer sounded ending the second period, a ND player slapshot the puck right at a Maine player. Instant pandemonium! Both teams were on the ice in the only full out brawl I've ever witnessed in college hockey. Fists were flying, gear was flying, and the cops were out on the ice trying to maintain some order, but ended up letting them go at it. When they finally came back out to play the third period, there were several players from both teams who were thrown out of the game. I don't remember the final score, but Maine ended up winning in overtime. We got our money's worth that night!

Zebster said...

Great story, Greg. Sounds like an AHL game. I've been up to the Alfond a few times and I've seen them play in Portland now 3 times. Great value