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Ryan Pulock Save Has Earned its Place in New York Sports Lore



Ryan Pulock New York Islanders

Derek Jeter’s flip in the ALDS, David Tyree’s catch in Super Bowl XLII and the save by Ryan Pulock in the final seconds of Game 4?

A day after Pulock’s highlight-reel save on Ryan McDonagh to prevent the tying goal to force overtime and give the Islanders a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning, “The Save” was still the talk of Long Island. Naturally, that has led to discussions of where on the mantle of New York sports’ greatest moments does “The Save” belong.

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Pulock’s stop surely saved the game for the Islanders and with the series headed back to Tampa Bay even at two, the Islanders are just two wins away from a Stanley Cup Final appearance for the first time since 1984. Never has an on-ice moment at Nassau Coliseum seemed so grand since Shawn Bates buried a penalty shot past Curtis Joseph in Game 4 in 2001.

And that was only a First Round playoff game.

Pulock’s heroic’s transcended the great moments the Islanders have had at the Coliseum and joined a special class reserved for New York’s most famous names. It rightfully joined the likes of Tyree and Jeter and Endy Chavez’s 2006 catch against the  St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS (Yes, we all know the New York Mets lost that game).

“I just tried to make myself big and take it away and I was able to get it,” Ryan Pulock said. “You hear the sound of the clock go and all the boys jump on you. It’s a good feeling.”

What binds all those moments together is the herculean effort each took to make and the almost surrealness of it all.

Jeter appeared to come out of nowhere to cut off the throw from right field and flip the ball to New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada to get Jeremy Giambi out at the plate. It saved a run from scoring and led the Yankees to a win in Game 3 and an eventual series win over the Oakland Athletics.

Hmmm… that certainly sounds familiar.

Then of course Tyree’s catch in the Super Bowl with the New York Giants going for one last drive to try and take down the favored and undefeated New England Patriots. “The Catch” set up Plaxico Burress’s game-winning touchdown for the Giants to capture the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Now you can add “The Save” to the list.

“I think everyone was in shock and everyone’s heart kind of stopped for a second,” Anthony Beauvillier said about the play. “It was a huge play and a huge time in the game. Those are the moments we are going to remember forever and that was huge. Everyone was happy to get the win.”

The bronze mold of Ryan Pulock’s save isn’t being made just yet to put outside of UBS Arena. But, if the Islanders keep playing the way they do, the construction workers might want to keep a copy of the photo handy just in case.