SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — The longest game in NCAA men’s hockey history ended bitterly for Union early Sunday morning.
Yale’s David Meckler tipped in a Zach Mayer shot 1:35 into the fifth overtime while Union was on the power play, giving the 11th-seeded Bulldogs a dramatic 3-2 victory over the sixth-seeded Dutchmen and a sweep of their ECACHL first-round series at Messa Rink.
Yale (10-18-3) advances to the quarterfinals. Union (16-16-6) lost a home playoff series for the fourth straight year.
Lasting 141 minutes, 35 seconds, the game set several marks in men’s college hockey history.
It broke the NCAA record of 129:30, set March 8, 1997, when Colorado College beat Wisconsin, 1-0, in Game 2 of the WCHA first round.
The game also eclipsed the ECACHL mark of 121:05, when Colgate beat Dartmouth, 4-3, in Game 1 of the quarterfinals March 14, 2003.
The contest is also the longest in both programs’ histories. Union’s old overall mark was 93:26 when it beat Rochester Institute of Technology, 5-4, in four overtimes in the 1984 NCAA Division III semifinals. Ten-minute overtimes were played back then. The Dutchmen’s old Division I record was 78:18, set in Game 3 of last year’s ECACHL first-round series against Clarkson, a 4-3 Dutchmen loss.
Yale’s old record was 102 minutes, set in 1927 against Dartmouth. The NCAA record for longest game came in the ECACHL women’s championship game March 10, 1996. It took 145:35 for New Hampshire to beat Providence, 3-2.
Twenty seconds after Joe Zappala was called for interference, Meckler broke down the right wing, and fired a shot.
Goalie Kris Mayotte came out to challenge the shot, and made the save. But he was out too far, and the rebound came to Mayer in the slot. Mayer sent it to the net, and Meckler put it in, ending the game at 1:10 a.m.
Jason Visser’s power-play goal at 11:59 of the third period tied the score and sent the game well into the night.
It was the second overtime game of the series, and the fifth in a row for Union in the postseason. Yale won Friday’s game, 2-1, in one overtime.
In last season’s first round, Union and Clarkson played three straight overtime games. Clarkson won Game 1, 1-0. Union took a 2-1 decision in Game 2, but the Golden Knights won the deciding game when Shawn Weller scored at 18:18 into overtime.
The Dutchmen’s much-maligned power play got the game’s first goal midway through the first period.
With David Inman off for interference, Bryan Campbell and Olivier Bouchard passed the puck back and forth between the right circle and top of the slot. Campbell, a senior defenseman who was playing his 100th career game — he didn’t play last season — fired a shot from the top of the slot that beat goalie Alec Richards to his right side for his first career goal.
The Bulldogs got the tying goal early in the second period. After the Dutchmen killed off Scott Wheeler’s holding penalty, they decided to change lines. But the Bulldogs were heading into the Union zone, leaving Campbell alone trying to defend a four-on-one.
The Dutchmen eventually got their players out on the ice as a scramble for a loose puck ensued in front of Mayotte. Nate Jackson got the puck and put it past Mayotte.
Yale grabbed a 2-1 lead 4:37 into the third period. Matt Cohen, who scored the game-winner in Yale’s 2-1 overtime victory Friday, got control of a loose puck that squirted out from the right side of the net. His slapshot found its way past Mayotte.
But Union’s power play came through again with 8:01 left in the third. Visser tipped home Sean Streich’s left-point shot to tie the score.
Union had a great chance to win it late in regulation. Augie DiMarzo, who had just finished serving a clipping penalty, picked up Visser’s clearing attempt in center ice. DiMarzo raced in alone on Richards, and tried to backhand the puck past him. But Richards stuck out his left pad and made the save.
DiMarzo was at it again early in the first overtime. His deflection of a Brendan Milnamow left-point shot just sailed wide.
Zappala had an opportunity to win it for Yale with 30 seconds left in the first overtime. His shot from close range was stopped, and the rebound was loose. Scott Brady cleared it away for Union.
Bouchard almost won it for Union midway through the second overtime. Skating down the left wing, Bouchard fired a slapshot. It beat Richards to his glove side, but hit the crossbar.
Mayotte made two saves late in the second overtime. He made a pad save on a Robert Burns shot from close range. Shortly after that, he gloved a Bill LeClerc left-point blast.
Richards made a left-pad save on a Torren Delforte shot from the left wing with 1:20 left.
The Dutchmen survived a five-minute shorthanded situation late in the third overtime to the fourth overtime after Delforte was ejected for a major hitting-from-behind penalty.
Ken Schott covers college hockey for The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, N.Y.