Reflections on an Instant Classic
College hockey enjoyed three great games on its biggest stage last week in Philadelphia, as the Frozen Four produced dramatic finishes, back-and-forth games and highlight-reel plays throughout.
Saturday's championship game, in particular, seemed to catch people's attention, and not just in the hockey world. Here's a sampling of what people had to say:
"That Union-Minnesota Frozen Four final game was one of the best hockey games I watched this season," tweeted TSN's NHL Insider, Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) - who, it should be noted, watches a lot of hockey. "Outstanding."
The game transcended "hockey people" as well.
"What a hockey game Union (N.Y.) and Minnesota played for the NCAA championship," wrote Sports Illustrated's Peter King in his popular Monday Morning Quarterback column. "I watched much of it. End-to-end action for three periods, and a school with 2,200 students and zero athletic scholarships and one NHL draft choice (Union) beating a school with full scholarships and 51,000 students and 14 NHL draft choices. The score was Union 7, Minnesota 4, in Philadelphia. What effort and raw enthusiasm, on the ice and in the stands. Cool stuff."
"Watching that game, I thought, 'These guys are going for it,'" Sportsnet's Jeff Marek said on Monday's Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast. "That was an awesome game to watch. It was fun."
On site, the raves continued.
"The two semifinals gave us lots of drama, and the championship game was a wild display of all-out attack from both teams," wrote philly.com's Jonathan Tannenwald in his recollection of the event.
Ryan Lambert penned a tribute to the two finalists, and the game, titled "All we could ask for":
"Logically, nothing could follow that opening 20 minutes, with its combined 35 shots on net, six goals, and 70 shot attempts. Seventy. It's like having the big, bloody shootout at the end of Scarface immediately after the opening credits, but then you still have to watch a whole movie after. It was exhausting in the very best way possible, unless, one supposes, you're a coach."
Jeff Blashill, the former Ferris State player and Western Michigan head coach who on Tuesday was named the AHL's Coach of the Year, tweeted his congratulations to Union (@jeffblashill) and added, "Game great example of skill/passion in college hockey."
John Steigerwald, longtime Pittsburgh Penguins broadcaster, tweeted (@Steigerworld), "Best sports on TV this weekend was Union College vs. Minnesota NCAA hockey. Masters a close second."
"Overall," wrote Julie Robenhymer on hockeybuzz.com, "it was a fantastic hockey game and if you didn't watch, you seriously missed out."
"The college hockey national championship is the most under appreciated game played in this country every year," John Feitelberg of Barstool Sports tweeted (@JFeitelberg). "NEVER disappoints."
Finally, check out ESPN's open to the title game:
Are we missing a great quote or tweet about Saturday's title game? Let us know on twitter @collegehockey