Twenty-five years ago, one of the most memorable NCAA championship games ended with Plandowski to Beaufait to Plandowski to the back of the net.
On March 30, 1991, Northern Michigan defeated Boston University 8-7 in triple overtime on Darryl Plandowski’s memorable goal off that give-and-go with Mark Beaufait.
But that was only one of the moments that have made that night at the St. Paul Civic Center stick in our memories.
The Wildcats led 7-4 with eight minutes to play in regulation before Tony Amonte, Shawn McEachern and David Sacco scored for the Terriers, the final goal coming with 39 seconds remaining.
BU fans probably still curse the glove hand of Wildcats goaltender Bill Pye for denying Amonte what would have been the winning goal in the dying seconds of regulation.
The Terriers ran out to a 3-0 lead in the opening 9:26 of the game before Northern Michigan scored the next six goals, five of them in the second period.
Plandowski’s third-overtime winner was his third goal of the game, the 14th hat trick in a national championship game. (The 13th came earlier in the game when the Wildcats’ Scott Beattie scored three goals in 8:23.)
There have been only two championship game hat tricks since and none since current Denver coach Jim Montgomery scored three times in 4:35 for Maine to wrestle away the 1993 title game from Lake Superior State.
The 1991 game is in the championship game records in a few categories:
• Boston University’s seven goals is the most by a losing team.
• The three-goal deficit overcome to win is tied for the largest with Minnesota’s comeback from a 3-0 deficit for a 6-4 victory over Michigan Tech in 1976.
• It had the most assists awarded, 23 — 12 to Northern Michigan, 11 to Boston University.
• By playing time, it was the second-longest title game, at 81:51. (Overtimes in those days were 10 minutes.) Bowling Green’s four-overtime win over Minnesota-Duluth in 1984 is the longest, at 97:11.
I’m sure we’ll see another multiple-overtime championship game again, but it’ll be tough to top what the Wildcats and the Terriers did 25 years ago.
Here’s some of the coverage of that game from the archives:
New York Times: Boston U. Left Dazed in Finale
Sports Illustrated: Try, Try, Try Again
Associated Press: Northern Michigan wins title in three OTs