Wednesday, May 4, 2016

DDC's Top 10 Moments of 2015-16 -- No. 2 -- The Best Hockey Play He's Ever Seen

UND Sr. F, Drake Caggiula celebrates one of his two goals in the Green and White's 5-1 win over Quinnipiac
in the national championship game. (Photo credit: Associated Press)
Thanks again for checking back in to DDC's Top 10 moments of the 2015-16 season for the EIGHT-time NCAA hockey national champion, UND men's hockey team.

Nearly a month later and that still feels so good to say.

National. Champion.

*Deep breath* *Smile*

Soak it in, once again.

Ok, so back to it. We're down to the final two and this particular play, DDC has no shame in saying it, is the best single hockey play he has ever seen.

In a season full of memories and history, this play will be the one that fans of the Green and White talk about for generations to come.

This play is the first play that DDC will show baby Emma and all future DDC babies when telling them how special this 2015-16 squad was.

No. 2A -- The Tic-Tic-Tic-Tac-Toe Goal -- UND vs. Miami, Ralph Engelstad Arena, Grand Forks, N.D., November 13, 2015.

Sports fans all have those plays that will forever be etched into their minds. The beauty of sports often provides unforgettable ones that will span the test of time. Those plays that will be shown on highlight reels for all time. The plays that cause that "remember where you were, when..." feeling.

Being raised a New York professional sports fan, DDC's lean heavily to the east. Yankee captain Derek Jeter's dive into the stands to make a catch against the Red Sox. David Tyree's sticky-helmet catch in Super Bowl XLII against the Patriots. Stephane Matteau's double OT goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Devils. These are the pro clips he will show his children. DDC remembers where he was for all of these plays.

For his beloved UND hockey team, DDC's most memorable plays elicit the same feelings. Evan Trupp's diving game-winning goal against the Gophers. Robbie Bina's full-sheet goal, also against Minnesota. Chris Porter's regional-winning overtime tally... again... against the Gophers. These are the UND version of the "remember where you were, when..." goals.

Simply put, this goal passes all. DDC thinks you remember this one very well.

Remember this one? Yeah, DDC isn't surprised. He watched this goal on a 26" TV at one of his best friend's new house, while standing up as he had yet to bring chairs downstairs. DDC remembers giggling as he ran into the other room to explain the goal while he worked on his newly-bought home. It will be a moment DDC never forgets. It's the appropriate feeling for a play like this.

Schmaltz to Boeser to Caggiula to Stecher to Boeser to Schmaltz. Tic-tic-tic-tic-tac-toe.

Watching it again for the possibly millionth time, DDC starts to giggle when Boeser taps it to Stecher. By the time Schmaltz finishes the play, DDC's smile is a big as humanly possible and the laugh is now emanating from his belly. 

The buzz this goal created was unreal.

"I don't think I've been in a play with so many passes tic-tac-toe on the tape," Nick Schmaltz said in the postgame presser.

“In the moment, you didn’t think it was as cool as everyone was saying,” Boeser added. “But the bench just kept saying “wow’.”

“Those are special,” head coach Brad Berry said. “Those are things you like to see.”

From Bleacher Report to Twitter to TSN, this play reached college hockey legend. 

Another incredible moment from the CBS line. What a joy. Thank you, men, for giving us a play for the ages.