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All That Jazz

27 March 2017

tUMD 3, duhOSU 2 (OT)/tUMD 3, Sucks to BU 2 (OT)

tUMD has punched their ticket to Chicago!

What an absurd weekend of hockey. Friday, as you know, I was sitting in my cube, gazing out at the parkade directly outside my window, half-heartedly following the BU-UND game on Twitter. I drove home from work and of course UND had broken a plane of glass  (a good strategy they’ve employed before) and tied it up and they were going to OT. I wanted to get in a short run before tUMD’s game, so I thought I’d head out and get that out of the way. Just before I left, I checked Twitter one more time, saw UND had scored, and shrugged. Ok, no matter what happened in the late game, I wouldn’t be going to Fargo. Cool, no drive!

So for almost an hour, I thought North Dakota had won. Imagine my surprise when I returned home, expecting tUMD’s game was about to start, and found… the game was still going. And then ended for real with a very different result. All I have to say to the majority of UND fans is:

tUMD’s game started rather late, of course (almost 2 hours, I think!) and I actually don’t think that was a good thing. I know it sounded nice for our potential opponents to be exhausting themselves in multiple overtimes, but it also threw our guys off their game, because they had to wait. Naturally, it also threw duhOSU off their game, but I tend to think those types of things benefit the crappier team. Mostly because it seemed to benefit duhOSU and they were the crappier team.

The ref positioned behind the net had a rough day as both an OSU goal and a UMD goal had to be overturned for basically the exact same thing: hitting the goalie in the back but not actually crossing the goal line. Goalinato sure sold it when it happened to him! It worked out well though because it meant OSU did not jump out to a lead. tUMD scored twice in the second (and nearly scored a third time on this sick pass from Blake Young to Jared Thomas):

Then for some reason tDogs decided to play absolutely rotten in the 3rd. I can’t explain it. They allowed some total losers to score, including one guy who is named “Gordi” as if he is a hybrid tribute to Gordie Howe and Geordi Laforge and who hadn’t scored a goal in his college hockey career. WUT. No. And it could have been worse, if not for Hunter Miska:

What is that even? And that wasn’t all.

Raise your hand if you needed a defibrillator to resurrect you after that. RIP me. Our man Willie Raskob had enough. He channeled all the pent-up frustranxiety of tUMD fans into that shot. Well maybe not all of it because the shot didn’t rip through the net, bust a hole through the boards, and reduce the arena to smoking rubble. But it was a hard shot.

So, I was off to Fargo, thanks to some friends. Friends who are UND fans, BTW, and I will remind you that while there are a disproportionate number of UND fans who are… shall we say, delusional, incoherent, violent, alcoholic, racist sociopaths, there are lots of really amazing people. These two wonderful ladies hooked me up with tickets, a parking pass, and two FanFest tickets. Another wonderful fella hooked my dad up with a ticket. All we had to do was get there. Which for me was quite the boring, depressing drive. Yeesh, northwestern Minnesota, spruce yourself up.

We arrived about an hour before the game, met up with my dad (who of course got to drive a real freeway the whole way, as opposed to a glorified Oregon Trail), and then headed over to the rink to meet up with Biddco, Dan of the Week, and other assorted hooligans. We all were able to sit together, although some of us had to move down a row when some ticketed people showed up. They weren’t even tUMD fans so I don’t know why they didn’t just sit elsewhere. I ended up sitting in front of a couple guys chewing tobacco and spitting into plastic cups, so that was disgusting.

There were a fair number of people at the game, but most of them seemed to be UND fans who couldn’t decide who they hated more: Pionk or the team that ended their season after a controversial offsides call. They sucked up a lot of the atmosphere, since they chose not to take sides. I really think that hostility to tUMD would have been preferable to apathy, as far as atmosphere goes, but whatever. Friday was a fairly draining day for everyone, and maybe folks weren’t ready for more hockey, having seen 3 games’ worth of hockey crammed into two games the day before.

I don’t know what the heck happened, but the first two periods went by in the blink of an eye. Maybe it was because there were only 5 penalties in the game? I’m not sure. tUMD went down early on a goal from Clayton Kellar, and once again, the game could have been much worse early on, if not for this Miska save to keep it 0-0 at the time:

This happened basically right in front of my face and I could not believe it. Anyway, I thought tUMD would be in decent shape going into the first intermission down a goal. It wasn’t ideal, but wasn’t insurmountable. Then tDogs really started to come on in the last minute or so, and Alex Iafallo made sure they went into the locker room tied.

Very good stuff.

The second period was a bit frustrating because tUMD had a PP and squandered it with a too many men situation so obvious that even I saw it, and I never see those penalties. Usually it happens along the bench, but in this case, we could almost see the moment where the whole team went “Oh ****” (put whatever word you like in there) because it was too late. Le sigh. And then it was the second intermission, and it felt like the game had gone by in the blink of an eye.

Halfway through the third, my dude Joey Anderson scored a goal that I did not fully appreciate until seeing this GIF.

It happened at the opposite end of the rink so I couldn’t see that it was really 2 shots, and that he roofed that shot just before he ran out of time and space. Wow. We spent the next several minutes praying for the guys to hang on, and of course, prayer doesn’t work, because it was tied. And it just felt weird. Like maybe no one would score, and it would be 5 OTs, and everyone would all die, and the game would just be forfeited and OSU and UND would have to play for the forfeited spot in memory of their fallen comrades on tUMD and BU.

I swear they slowed the clocks down during intermission. There’s just no other explanation for it.

Early on in OT, Bobo Carpenter (no relation) took a guy down. It happened at center ice, I don’t even know who he actually took down, and I didn’t really see it due to the bad sight line I had, but I do know that tUMD had a PP, and a chance to get justice for 2015. (There used to be a YouTube video to a Tupac song in that post, but I guess it got yanked.)

And lo, justice was served.

What an unbelievable moment, to end an unbelievable weekend. That was one of the most grueling regionals I can recall, and there were probably four or five plays that came inches, millimeters, Angstroms away from ending tUMD’s season, and yet tDogs are going to Chicago.

And so am I. Come on ‘Dogs, we’re gonna paint the town — and all that jazz.

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