|Yale's Alec Richards ended up
the winner in the longest game in college hockey history.
Having now done the radio play-by-play call
of the longest men’s ice hockey game in NCAA history,
I’ve quickly found that the question people are most
curious about is, “After all that time, didn’t
you run out of things to talk about?”
The only answer I’ve been able to come
up with is, “Well, sort of.”
Yes, there were moments during the more than
six hours I was on the air with my partner Steve Conn when
we didn’t have a whole lot to say. But when Yale and
Union have played three full periods, four 20-minute overtimes
and are still tied 2-2, what is there really to talk about
other than to marvel at the situation?
So that’s what we did on that first
Saturday night in March, along with the die-hards that remained
at Messa Rink in Schenectady, New York, and those who chatted
on message boards across the college hockey nation, listening
to online broadcasts of the game even after the clock struck
midnight on the East Coast.
We stood in our makeshift radio booth and
described two exhausted teams throwing haymakers at each
other for more than 140 minutes of playing time. There were
tantalizing scoring chances on both ends, crushing hits,
teasing power plays and most of all, inspiring goaltending
from Yale freshman Alec Richards and Union senior Kris Mayotte.
Every player had reason to tap into an inner
resolve to keep fighting. For Union, a loss would mean another
devastating elimination in a 15-year history of postseason
disappointments – never before had the Dutchmen won
a playoff series, and this figured to be their best chance
Yale had its own playoff troubles to overcome,
having failed to win a series in eight years. But after
sputtering to an 11th-place conference finish, the Bulldogs
approached the best-of-three series at Union as a new beginning.
And with an overtime win in Game 1, they had no interest
in allowing the Dutchmen to send the series to a deciding
In front of this backdrop, as the hours passed
without resolution, nothing more needed to be said than
for us to simply describe the action and wait – wait
to find out which team would triumph, which player would
be the final hero and when the conclusion would come.
Finally, at 1:08 a.m. (by my cell phone though
the official box score had it as 1:10 a.m.), the waiting
The triumphant team: Yale.
The final hero: Freshman David Meckler.
When: One minute and thirty-five seconds into
the fifth overtime.
The game spoke for itself. And nobody
who witnessed it will ever run out of things to say about
Dan Fleschner is the former radio
voice of Yale hockey who temporarily returned to the role
last weekend. He is the author of Bulldogs
on Ice: Yale University Men's Ice Hockey.