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A Year Ago Today: Beauvillier Blows Roof Off Barn

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New York Islanders

Where were you a year ago today? 14,500 of you were at Nassau Veterans Memorial Colisuem as the New York Islanders were on the brink of elimination, needing a Game 6 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning to stay alive.

After forty minutes of play, the Islanders were trailing 2-1, but a snipe by Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield tied the contest 11:15 into the third.

The score remained deadlocked at two apiece, as the anxiety levels rose for the Islanders faithful as Game 6 headed to overtime.

Following the overtime intermission, both teams took the ice for the first overtime game of the series. The New York Islanders and their fans did not have to wait long for a result, an outcome that went in their favor.

After Lightning forward Blake Coleman turned the puck over in his defensive zone, Anthony Beauvillier hopped on the puck and roofed one over the glove of Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevksiy as Nassau Coliseum erupted.

 

“Ah, honestly kind of blacked out a little bit,” Beauvillier said after his overtime dagger. “I was so happy, was screaming. Everyone kind of jumped on me so obviously an amazing feeling and couldn’t be more happy.”

The sound was deafening. The atmosphere was euphoric. And the smell?

“That building, coming into overtime, was smelling like cigarettes and now it smells like beers,” Anthony Beauvillier said as following his winning goal, beers were thrown onto the ice.

No one knew how to react. No one could wrap their head around that the New York Islanders were now just one win away from making it back to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1984. Younger Islanders fans were not alive to have witnessed the greatest dynasty in all of sports and the emotion that came with winning four straight Stanley Cups.

The older fans had been longing to relive those emotions again.

Being in the playoffs and fighting for a chance at a Stanley Cup was more of a once-in-a-blue-moon thing rather than a constant year-in, year-out situation for the Islanders, which is something that has changed recently.

Beauvillier had etched his name in Islanders history and although no one in attendance knew if that was the last time the Islanders would get the chance to play on Nassau Coliseum ice, the thought was “If this was it, what a way for the Coliseum to go out.”

New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz during his postgame availability spoke on the goal and what it meant.

“I love this group, the character of this group, and I would say this building and what it’s meant to a number of players, but probably more than anything, our fans.”

I remember thinking as Beauvillier cut to the slot that something special was about to happen. It was a move we had seen a few games ago in Game 4, as Josh Bailey cut to the slot and beat Vasilevksiy over the glove. And as you waited for Beauvillier to release the puck, you could see that Vasilveskiy’s glove hand had dropped.

And the right side toy department was open for business if Beauvillier could get the puck there. After the game I went back and looked at both goals.

Almost mirror images.

Unfortunately, it would be the last game for the Islanders in Uniondale. A 1-0 loss in Game 7, a shorthanded marker in which the Lightning had seven guys on the ice, was the difference-maker.

I’ll leave you with a quote by Barry Trotz after Game 6. It was a big picture thought, from a head coach who had won a Stanley Cup before (2018 with Capitals) and countless times over his career had come up short.

“[Game 6] means how much you want to commit to having one shot at going to the Stanley Cup Final,” Barry Trotz said per an article by NBC Sports. “How much are you willing to commit? That’s really the message. Go after it, guys, because you only get so many cracks at this.”

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