Chaos ensued after Andrew Oglevie cut loose the most important shot of his life.
Oglevie sprinted down the SNHU Arena ice in Manchester, N.H., euphoric. He’d just scored an overtime game-winner against UMass-Lowell to capture the Northeast Regional title and send Notre Dame to its third Frozen Four in program history.
Only in childhood fantasy had Oglevie ever scored such a big goal. Yet in the immediate aftermath he recalled almost nothing about the moment.
“I remember letting it go,” Oglevie said. “I kinda saw it bounce off the net and then complete black out. I have no idea what happened after that. I just remember I started running around. You guys probably saw the video. I lost it. I was really excited.”
On the flip side, everything leading up to that goal seemed to unfold in slow motion.
Oglevie started the final possession with a simple chip into the Lowell zone. Dylan Malmquist raced into the corner to apply some pressure. Oglevie set up shop in the slot, right in front of goalie Tyler Wall. Anders Bjork gathered the puck with his skate as a Lowell defender lost his stick.
Bjork moved the puck from his skate to stick, thanks in part to the time provided by a Lowell defending being without a stick. Oglevie waited. Bjork slid the puck to an unchecked Oglevie, who slapped it past Wall for a 3-2 win.
Oglevie ended up in the waiting arms of Irish goalie Cal Petersen in celebration. His teammates piled on over the next couple seconds.
Everything before and after Oglevie’s shot went by so fast he needed to review the video to see what exactly happened. But as he waited in the slot, time crept along.
“It was weird, yeah,” Oglevie said. “From the second (Bjork) pulled up to when he actually made the pass it felt like about 10 minutes. It went by really, really slow. It’s weird but it did. It went by super slow. Everything was happening so fast but it all kinda slowed down for us at that second.”
Oglevie has since been able to fully grasp the moment. His goal sets up Notre Dame (23-11-5) for a national semifinal matchup against top-ranked Denver next week at the Frozen Four in Chicago.
Twice before the Irish have made it to this stage.
Back in 2008, a Calle Ridderwall overtime game-winner against Michigan sent them into the national championship game, where they went on to lose to Boston College. In 2011 they lost to Minnesota-Duluth in the semifinals.
Returning to the semifinals, while rallying to upset No. 1 seed Minnesota then dispatching Lowell in overtime, is no small feat.
“It’s a huge accomplishment,” Bjork said. “I think we’ve known how good of a team we could be and we’ve seen it at times throughout the year. But to all be clicking at the same time at the exact right time at the end of the year is a really, really good thing. It’s a positive thing and something we’re proud of. We’re ready to continue.”
Carrying on means a date against Denver (31-7-4) at 9:30 p.m. ET next Thursday at the United Center.
Preparing for arguably the best team in the nation with a chance to play for the national championship a couple days later is already on the agenda. But stopping to reflect on another program defining moment was the order of early this week.
Head coach Jeff Jackson found himself doing the same. Oglevie’s goal triggered some thoughtfulness from everybody in the program.
“I was pretty excited,” Jackson said. “I don’t get overly excited that often. But considering this group of kids, what they’ve accomplished here in the second half of the year, considering some of the things — guys out of the lineup. With some of the things that have happened, they’ve been pretty resilient. They’ve compensated for losing guys to injury or whatever and still find a way to win and not just win against average teams.”
Jackson a Penrose finalist
Jackson, in his 12th season leading Notre Dame, is one of 10 finalists for the Spencer Penrose Award, recognizing the NCAA Division I hockey coach of the year.
Voting for the award will be conducted before the Frozen Four with a winner announced April 5. Jackson previously won the award in 2007.
Other finalists are Norm Bazin (Lowell), Rick Bennett (Union), Ted Donato (Harvard), Tony Granato (Wisconsin), Jim Montgomery (Denver), Andy Murray (Western Michigan), Scott Sandelin (Minnesota-Duluth), Tom Serratore (Bemidji State) and Dave Smith (Canisius).
Burke’s availability in doubt
Freshman forward Cal Burke might not be back in time for the Frozen Four.
Burke has missed the last four games after going down March 10 with a lower body injury in a 5-0 win over Providence. Burke continues to make progress, but whether that’ll lead to a full blown return to action is an open question.
“That’s yet to be determined,” Jackson said. “He’s making progress. He’s still wearing a boot.”
Burke has three goals and eight assists with a plus-3 rating this season in 35 games.