NCAA Hockey Tournament Report, 1995 April 22

The national tournament went on with the other three major leagues, though, and the "Frozen Four" who made it to Providence were WCHA powerhouse Minnesota, CCHA regular season champ Michigan, and Maine and Boston University, respectively regular season and playoff champions of Hockey East. In the first semifinal on March 30, the Wolverines and Black Bears made history, sped up pulses and got a lot of college hockey fans ticked off at ESPN. In the first period, which was shown on epsn2 because a tennis tournament ran long, Michigan scored two quick goals, and a number of observers, in Providence and elsewhere, set themselves up for future humiliation by declaring the game effectively over. Maine came alive halfway through the first, pulled to within one, and then, in the second, tied the game at two. With five minutes left in the third, Maine scored what seemed to be the deciding goal on a power play, but Michigan answered less than a minute later with their own power play goal, and it was into overtime.

Far from being conservative in the extra period, the teams put on a twenty-minute offensive barrage, and only superhuman efforts between the pipes by Maine's Blair Allison and Michigan's Marty Turco kept the game tied thru the first overtime. For the first half of the second overtime, both teams seemed to be showing the fatigue of 80 minutes of hard-fought hockey. Maine seemed to gain the upper hand late, though, but the period ended with the score still tied at three, and the game on record as the longest in NCAA tournament history, and within a minute and a half of the longest game ever in College Hockey. Then ESPN's satellite time ran out. As in previous intermissions, they went away to the golf tournament they'd been preempting since the end of regulation, but this time, they didn't come back until about ten minutes after the period #6 was supposed to start. Although they didn't say so at the time, they came on the air with tape-delayed footage of a faceoff in the Michigan end, about 25 seconds into the third overtime. Wham, bam, Maine's Dan Schermerhorn put the puck in the net, and after 100 minutes and 28 seconds, the game was over; the Black Bears had prevailed 4-3 in triple overtime, but the memories will last a lifetime. So too, it seems, will the nasty letters to ESPN.

After that marathon, the rest of the tournament was a bit anticlimactic, and the BU Terriers rolled to a 7-3 victory over Minnesota in the other quarterfinal, and defeated a tired Maine squad two days later, 6-2 in the final to become the 1995 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Champions.

Until the 1995-96 College Hockey season starts in the fall, this is Joe P------k, KJUC sports.

Last Modified: 1995 September 26
Joe Schlobotnik /