March 21, 1998
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State was in its longest drought without a CCHA playoff championship, but the regular-season titlists though they had a good shot in 1998.
They did, and it took them the longest championship game in conference history to prove it.
Sophomore center Shawn Horcoff's centering pass to junior left wing Bryan Adams deflected past Ohio State goaltender Jeff Maund 2:30 into the second overtime to give Michigan State a 3-2 victory over the Buckeyes and secure a white banner for the Munn Ice Arena rafters. Michigan State outshot Ohio State, 51-40, over the course of the 82:30 game which took three hours and 48 minutes to play. Maund made 48 saves while senior MSU goaltender Chad Alban stopped a career-high 38 shots. Each team got a pair of goals from one player in regulation. Junior center Mike York, named a Hobey Baker finalist Friday, struck with deadly precision on two shots from over Maund's right shoulder. In first- and second-period tallies, York set up behind the net on the power play and banked the puck in off of Maund.
Todd Compeau had answers for the Buckeyes, however. Compeau actually gave OSu a 1-0 lead just 4:19 into the game when he was left alone in front of Alban and the puck trickled through traffic and found him. York's goals made it 2-1 Michigan State midway through the second. Compeau answered on a power-play of OSU's own at the 13:31 mark of the second thanks to a pretty pass from Chris Richards. From there, Maund and Alban took over while the two teams took fewer of the offensive chances which marked the first 55 minutes.
Maund, who was named the all-tournament goaltender, made 33 of his saves in the second and third periods, including killing off a 5-on-3 power play while the score was tied at 2-2 in the second. Alban, who could no thave been far behind in the all-tournament balloting, had 14 saves in the first overtime period. MSU had to kill off an OSU power play in the end of the first overtime and the beginning of the second, and it was just over a minute after that expired that Horcoff scored.
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: G Jeff Maund, OS D Ryan Root, OS D Tyler Harlton, MS F Mike York, MS F Todd Compeau, OS F Chris Richards, OS MVP Mike York, MS
Head coach Ron Mason: "It's games like these that stick in your minds and become memories... For one reason or another, we persevered and were able to get the goal.
"This team knows how to win, and I think that started at the Team Cheerios tournament to start the season. There wasn't a guy in the room who didn't think we were going to win that game."
Captain Tyler Harlton: "I thought we had two superstars on the ice in Mike York and Chad Alban and the rest of us were just grinders. Sometimes that's all it takes."
Goaltender Chad Alban: (On the feeling in overtime) "You don't worry about the outcome in a situation like that. You just try to have fun, and I was having fun out there."