On a man advantage 4:08 into the period, WG’s Aaron Jones slid past McQuaid’s defenders and, timing his shot just right, beat Brian Kick for the tying goal. Then, at the 11:39 mark, senior captain Robbie Michel made the Knights pay for a penalty, putting home a rebound of a shot Kick could not corral to put the Wildcats up 2-1.
That didn’t last long, though. WG committed its own penalty, sending McQuaid to the power play late in the second period as Jared Tallo converted for a 2-2 tie.
And there it would stay, all through a tense third period. The Knights, playing four lines to the Wildcats’ three, gradually began to control the flow of play after only out-shooting WG 22-19 over the first two periods.
That left it up to Burns, and for a long while he stopped everything, including a point-blank look by Michael Campbell with 4:52 left in regulation.
So it was 2-2 going into the seven minute, 30-second overtime periods. One extra period flew by, and then a second, without any resolution.
Burns continued to make great stops as his save total reached 43 with a blind glove save on Tallo in the last minute of the second OT. Kick wasn't quiet, though, stopping 41 of the 43 shots he faced.
Early in the third OT, WG’s Corey Raaflub was injured, causing a brief delay. Less than half a minute after he left the ice, Tallo took another shot, and this time it flicked off the stick of Jack Hildenbrand and flew past Burns to end it.
After 65-plus minutes of pulsating hockey, the Wildcats’ season ended with a mark of 16-6-2. Head coach Frank Colabufo had just three seniors on his roster, including Michel, yet it still found its way to a sixth consecutive sectional championship.
Though Michel, Tommy Hanley and Nate Colabufo departs, everyone else could return in 2013-14, giving WG an excellent chance to go for a seventh sectional crown and, perhaps, a different (and more compact) ending should it go further.