The Drexel Dragons will head to The Big Barbeque for the first time after a 11-10 victory over Hofstra in triple overtime. Cole Shafer scored the game winner 41 seconds into the third overtime to clinch the Dragon's automatic bid. Shafer also led the game with 5 goals, while Conference Tournament MVP Ben McInosh tallied 4 assists.
The first half was low scoring, as goaltending was the main storyline early on. Will Gabrielsen would end up with 13 saves for the Dragons, while Chris Selva stopped 9 and Eddie Collins came up with a huge man-down save while Selva was penalized for the Pride. The game was 3-2 at halftime in favor of Drexel.
The tide changed in the 3rd quarter, as Hofstra went on a 5-0 run to take a 8-5 lead into the 4th quarter. Torin Varn had 4 goals in the game, including 3 in a row during the 3rd quarter.
The 4th quarter started with two Drexel goals, but Hofstra responded with two of their own to go up 10-7 with 5 minutes left. At that point the Pride looked like they were beginning to have control of the game, especially with their offense slowing down the tempo. However, Drexel tallied up 3 in a row in a span of two minutes to tie up the game. The game ended up going into overtime, where things got nutty.
In the first overtime, Miles Thomas made a huge trail check on Korey Hendrickson to give Drexel the ball. Not to be outdone, Finn Sullivan made a check of his own to win back the ball. The 2nd overtime was full of action as well, as Sam Llinares lost the ball taking an extra step on what would've been a wide open look on goal. Drexel then took the ball and thought they won the game, with the team storming the field, only for it to be one of those infamous balls outside the net that everyone though went in. Gabrielsen made a huge stop for Drexel on the ensuing Hofstra possession, but the Pride made another stop of their own.
The third overtime started with Drexel winning the ball, but the ball turning over after a Ryan Rielly forced turnover. The Drexel ride forced Rielly out of bounds, however, which gave the Dragons the critical final possession. Shafer went on to rip one on the net and seal the deal to give the Dragons the 11-10 victory.
Drexel will now go to the NCAA Tournament with the win. Hofstra, on the other hand, is now squarely on the bubble and will sweat out tomorrow's game between Harvard and Penn for the Ivy League title. With the Pride and the Crimson essentially the two teams on the bubble for one spot, somebody's going home disappointed tomorrow night. Let your debate on who gets in between those two begin.
The past two weekends have seen it's share of memorable finishes in conference tournaments. Drexel and Hofstra provided yet another one tonight here in Hempstead. There's a reason why we call it the THUNDERDOME, people. Triple overtime and lots of twists and turns would end up making way for a game CAA fans won't soon forget.