Though it was only the second game of the day, it was undoubtedly the biggest one.
I am talking about the Mercyhurst vs. Notre Dame hockey game in the Ice Breaker tournament.
For those who don’t know, the Ice Breaker tournament is the tournament that signifies the start of college hockey across the nation.
Even with hundreds of student fans and over a thousand Erie locals excited to watch the game, nobody was anticipating just what the match would end up evolving into.
Everybody was expecting our team, the Lakers, to take a major beating since Notre Dame is the second-best team in the entire nation.
However, Mercyhurst fought and fought hard.
There was an early goal for Mercyhurst, and then another one!
The game went on and on, and so did the spirits of our Laker community.
Every single time one team managed to score, the other would tie it up.
In the crowd surrounded by friends and family, the excitement was building.
By the third period, we were surrounded by talk of David and Goliath.
Every single person in the stands, and even many on the court, were now asking themselves, “Can we actually pull it all off?”
As the third period came to a close, it was tied 6-6, and the game headed into overtime.
Thousands of sets of eyes were on the ice.
When the puck reached Laker territory, we shouted.
When the players pushed Notre Dame, we cheered.
Five minutes of overtime went by with no score.
Now it all came down to a three-on-three shootout.
Both the first two Fighting Irish and Lakers missed their shots.
The third and final Fighting Irish were ultimately able to shoot his shot between our goalie’s legs and score.
The pressure was really on now, as if it wasn’t before.
Our final Laker had one shot to carry on the game.
He went, he pushed the goalie, he shot!
But in the end, he just couldn’t pull it off.
The game ended and, although in defeat for the Lakers, everyone stood up and applauded.
Even though we lost, nobody was expecting to see what they did.
That night the Laker and the larger Erie community saw one of the greatest games of hockey they will ever see played in their entire lives.
The game was exciting, and even though we lost, we should take pride in how well we did on the court.