12:33 a.m. – It is at this point that I can finally bring myself to write about what transpired at Wessman Arena tonight. Heartbreaking is the only way to describe it.
Tyler met me near the press box during the Middlebury versus Plattsburgh game. I was taking notes on the game for a colleague from USCHO.com. Middlebury’s upset win over unbeaten Plattsburgh proved that anything is possible in this tournament.
Following the opening game of the day, the anticipation began to build for the Gustavus versus Elmira matchup. Gustie fans began pouring into the arena and before long, everywhere you looked there was black and gold. I was able to chat briefly with Tom and Shirley Doyle, the grandparents of junior forward Melissa Doyle. Tom and Shirley are two of the Gustavus women’s hockey team’s most devoted fans. They tune into each and every one of Tyler and I’s broadcasts. The pair made the trip to Rochester last year so it was great to see them at the finals once more.
Tyler and I posted up in the stands beside the press box for the game. From there we took notes, updated our social media pages, and acted calm and collected while in reality we were a pair of nervous wrecks.
The puck dropped and we were locked in the moment. For Tyler’s complete recap of the game, follow the link below.
I won’t comment a whole lot about the game aside from a few quick things. First off, hats off to Elmira. Whenever it looked like the Soaring Eagles were dead in the water, they found a way to claw back. The game-tying goal while shorthanded may go down as the greatest play in program history. Second, although this one hurts, Gustavus has to be proud of its effort tonight. The gals left it on the ice and that’s something to take pride in.
Gustavus can also be proud of the support shown by the students and fans who made the trek to Superior for the weekend. “Lets go Gusties” chants were heard throughout the game, fueling the energy in the arena for everyone in attendance.
Following the game, I escorted Coach Carroll and Lindsey Hjelm to the post-game press conference room. Both fielded a few questions and that was it – short and sweet. Tyler said to me after the presser, “Lindsey Hjelm still finds ways to impress me.” I agree completely with him. Hjelm’s focus in the press conference was on tomorrow’s game. She said that although the loss stung, it is back to work tomorrow one more time for her and her fellow seniors. Lindsey, like Gustavus student-athletes tend to do, handled herself with class even in the face of the most gut-wrenching loss of her career.
Tyler, Dan, and I drove back to hotel in the snow where we got to work writing, editing, and now, blogging.
The team is scheduled for breakfast at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow once again. We head over to the rink after that for the third place game against Plattsburgh State set to take place at 3:30 p.m. Both teams went into this tournament unbeaten with visions of the perfect season in their dreams. Those dreams came to an end today but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to play for. Both teams have a chance to end their season with a win and finish the year with only one loss.
Gustavus Sports Information Director Ethan Armstrong will be with the Gustavus women’s hockey team at the 2013 NCAA Division III Women’s Hockey Championship finals this weekend in Superior, Wisconsin. He will be blogging periodically throughout Gustavus’ stay in Superior.