SCHENECTADY – The expansion and compression of time in the human mind can be fascinating.
Eight minutes seemed like 15.
Two changes on the ice seemed to happen in the blink of an eye.
The second of those innings, viewed through a different lens, seemed like an eternity, as the goalkeeper’s stick slipped out of his hands as the live game action swirled around him, his teammates looking for escape. Were.
Five hundred plus days… well, that’s just a long time, no matter how you look at it, when you haven’t played for your college hockey team since then for no other reason than the global pandemic.
For the first time since March 8, 2020, the union men’s hockey team will play an actual game in New Hampshire on Friday.
As all teams do, the Dutchmen head into the 2021–22 season with eager optimism, as well as a lot of question marks, as the last two coming sections have not yet been played, the 2020-21 season being called off by the union. after cancellation.
It also means that there are two entire classes that did not experience the end of the 2019–20 season, when the union lost 2–1 in an ECAC Hockey quarterfinal-cleaning Game 3, which was not the only goal of Yale defenseman Graham. Was fixed by Lilybridge. Scored all season, but by a caretaker who waved a goal that had given Union victory moments earlier.
In double overtime.
There are still a lot of holdovers from that team on the roster, and it is up to them to put 2019-20 in its proper context to a gut-disrupting conclusion. As much as you wish to forget, maybe, calling it ancient history, memory does not let you go.
And anyway, looking back can be useful. For a long time, it held the title of The Last Live Sporting Event I Covered, and I thought it was worth revisiting as the Dutch people head into the new year.
Seasons end in many ways, and everyone had the rug pulled up by the pandemic — looking at you, RPI — but Union suffered a particularly sore, even winning coach Keith Allen. also admitted that he was equally wild and absurd emotional turmoil. d ever seen
Union’s 2-1 win turned into a 2-1 victory over Yale at the Bulldogs’ Ingalls Rink, nicknamed “The Whale” because you feel like a swallow when you’re there, And the major players remember it in many of the same ways, but from different angles.
“I’ve been to many overtime games, and that’s where you go from jumping the board and going to celebrate with the nalds [Anthony Rinaldi]’Done for the goal, two innings later… for the year,’ said Josh Cossack, who is now the Union captain. “Definitely a heartbreak.”
“I started celebrating, but then I looked back, and people were gliding instead of skating. That’s when I realized…” said Gabriel Seger, now a junior alternate captain. He scored a goal that was not allowed as a freshman.
“It’s really a memory of Union that I’ll never forget, he was scoring that goal and coming down the ice,” said Darian Hanson. “The way they celebrated, I think I was the first kid to meet them. I wasn’t panicking, but I was in disbelief, like, ‘Oh my god, we just won. Wow.'”
Hanson, who has been using his post-grad year of NCAA eligibility at the Yukon this season, was in the nets for Union, playing the game of his life as the underdog Dutchman ended a mostly winless season with his biggest ever. Tried to win.
You have to slow down time to put aside everything that happened in the blazing moments of that double overtime period.
Neither team had scored since the start of the second period, but at the start of the second OT, Rinaldi rocketed toward Yale goalkeeper Corbin Kazpersky, went back to Segar, and shot once less for the win.
Wait. Before Union festivities were second, an official sprinted toward the center ice while waving his arms, causing the goal to be reviewed, as Union’s Vas Kolias made some contact with Kazpersky’s left skate as he Was back from the crease and the puck went inside. .
“Tony put it on the jet, dropped it at me, I did it once, got it in the net,” Seger said. “I thought it was a clear goal, but I think ‘D’ really pushed Vas into that. [play]. He reviewed it for 15 minutes, something like that, and it was a close call. Most people jumped off the bench, then had to wait for him, after that the energy kind of dissipated. “
It was eight minutes; I set the clock
Colias made little contact, but Union could only later wonder why the Yale defenseman’s role in the play didn’t make it to the penalty section of the game ledger.
The Dutch later held back on sour grapes, and now what can you do about the drama when asked about it, but this long bus ride home was a hot topic.
And Hanson recognized Kaczpersky for his lack of response to Kolias clipping his skate.
Head coach Rick Bennett said, “With hockey being such a fast game, it can seem easy when you go and slow it down, and that’s what he did.” “But it was even before that. I think there was a little bit of a hold-up on our part, a hooking one on them. So it could have gone that way too.”
“I don’t think they should have called it that, but it was also about 50-50,” Seger said. “If we were on their side, you could understand it. But this time, on the bus, to be honest, we were upset. It was obvious that their boy pushed Vas into the trap, I remember. But yes.”
“I’ll make it easy for you,” Hanson said. “I’m really good friends with the Yale goalkeeper, Corbyn, and he’ll have no problem with what I say: As a goalkeeper, if you score and the goalkeeper has a little bit of interference and you don’t turn right away The referee, who usually tells you nothing like that happened. And Corbin, when he went in, I think he knew it was a goal too.
“If I’m a goalkeeper – and I’m not a goalkeeper who complains a lot – in that situation, even if someone sneezes at me, I’m looking at the referee. I think Corbin knew, as we knew.”
Nevertheless, play continued, and Lillebridge later scored in two innings, a period of time that is barely registered once the grind of many overtimes comes in.
When Hanson lost his stick, he made it clear to his teammates not to compromise his game by handing him a stick.
Lillibridge took a shot to the wrist from that point, which Hanson said she saw, but it found its way into the back of the net one afternoon when Hanson tied a career single-game high with 50 saves. Union was 29–5 ahead during the third period and overtime.
“I was playing very well at the time, and usually sometimes as a goalkeeper, the pucks go by you and you don’t necessarily touch it, and if you’re feeling good, you know it Net is missing,” he said. “For some reason, he didn’t miss the net.
“Then they’re celebrating.”
“He stood on his head and was the heart and soul of our team all year long,” said the Cossack. “To go out like this, 2-1 games, double overtime, little did we know this would be our last hockey game.”
A “catastrophic” loss on a Sunday afternoon, Seger called it, a bus ride to Schenectady, then time to digest what had happened.
Except that the rush of events and news related to the pandemic that narrowed over the next few days came from such frequent bursts of lightning bolts that it was nearly impossible to keep up.
“That game was on a Sunday, and that Wednesday I was watching the NBA, and that was when Rudy Gobert was patient zero for the NBA and pulled it off,” Hanson said. “That was one of the defining moments of COVID for me. I also remember RPi, they had home ice and were playing Harvard one day, then they didn’t have fans, then Harvard got out and they were playing Colgate. This is happening on an hourly basis.”
If digesting in such a short time was too much, it also feels like a long time ago.
because it was.
The pandemic persists, and so does Yale’s recollection of the loss.
But the Dutch have a fresh roster and a fresh calendar.
“It’s unfortunate that we were called back in overtime,” Bennett said. “I think I’ve seen enough of it, and, you know, what they said, they called it. I must say I think we won that game.
“We’ve moved on. There were many lessons throughout that year, and I think one of them was that we started getting it, but by then it was too late. It’s too late to be important. Gaya. That’s the message we are trying to convey so far.”
“It’s been 19, 20 months of a difficult exit,” said the Cossack. “For the returnees, it adds fuel to the fire, and I think that’s why we’re so hungry to start playing.”
Segar echoed that, reminding him that he had been deprived of the biggest goal of his career, a spectacular flash extinguished after a seemingly endless video review by executives.
“Yeah, I know,” she said with a laugh. “Ah, we’re sure to find something new this year.”
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