A sellout crowd of 18,200 packed Madison Square Garden Saturday night and many more watched on MSG Network as Boston University edged Cornell, 2-1, on Ross Gaudet’s overtime goal.
The third installment of Red Hot Hockey at MSG marked one of eight NHL buildings that college hockey will visit in 2011-12. The others: Boston’s TD Garden, Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena, Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, Pittsburgh’s CONSOL Energy Center, St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center, Tampa Bay’s St. Pete Times Forum, Winnipeg’s MTS Centre
“This is the most exciting goal I’ve ever scored,” Gaudet said of his deflection that won the game in OT. “It was a great game to be a part of too, so it’s probably one of the best moments of my athletic career.”
Cornell head coach Mike Schafer knew to expect something special.
“Just going down there and getting a chance to play on the big stage is exciting,” he told the Ithaca Journal before the game. “A lot of our kids have never been to New York City. The players who were there two years ago say they’ll never forget the crowd that was there, skating on that ice with just a sea of red in the stands, and a huge alumni contingent we bring. It’s just a great sporting event.”
Dozens of other college hockey players will have the opportunity to make lifelong memories in NHL rinks this season.
Clarkson’s Paul Karpowich will face North Dakota at Winnipeg’s MTS Centre in January. He is eagerly anticipating that trip, as he told Rachel Lenzi for a story in the Dec. 5 issue of The Hockey News.
“I’ve never played in an NHL rink before, so getting an opportunity to play in one means a lot, especially being so close to home,” said Karpowich, who was born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. “Coming from Canada, hockey is everything there, the biggest sport. Here, you’ve got football and baseball, but you see college hockey taking off and getting more fans. Playing at these venues and going to Winnipeg, it shows how the game has progressed and how it’s attracting a new type of fan.”
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