The hoary old cliché a two-goal lead is the most dangerous lead in hockey was actually true on Saturday. UQTR scored three in 31 seconds to wrest away a University Cup berth from Western with a 5-4 win.
Call it the Miracle on the St-Maurice, notwithstanding that this is coming from someone who has no idea how close Le Colisée in Trois-Rivières actually is to either river. The Mustangs had a two-goal cushion after Keaton Turkiewicz tallied his second of the game with 3:57 left in regulation.
Andre Joanisse, the veteran d-man, scored with 1:31 left before J.S. Breton tied the game 4-4 just 20 seconds later. One would hope Western called timeout. Anyhow, off the ensuing faceoff, little 5-foot-7 Olivier Donovan scored his fifth of the playoffs (just two below his regular-season total) and the Pats were suddenly ahead after trailing for more than 55 minutes.
In terms of a near-sure win turning into defeat, on a CIS hockey scale, this is the equivalent of the 2003 ALCS or '08 NCAA basketball final (where Memphis lost a nine-point lead in the final 2:12 against the Kansas Jayhawks).
How often do you see a hockey team multiple-goal lead inside of the five-minute mark? Almost never. Not to lay blame, but Western didn't have superlative goaltending down the stretch (Keyvan Hunt had an .899 save percentage and 3.07 GAA, not great for a goalie on a top 5 team), and it all came home to roost.
Meantime, as far as the University Cup is seeding, tough call between McGill and Saint Mary's for the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds.