The Minnesota Wild winning a Game 7 in overtime on the road versus the division foe Colorado Avalanche was without a doubt one of the best hockey games I’ve ever witnessed. Sure I’ve seen a lot of dandies, but this one was really special. In fact, the Wild became the first team in NHL history to win a Game 7 after scoring four game-tying goals.
Four times Wild fans had to watch their team go down by a goal — four times Wild fans got to see their team fight back and tie the game (a little late-game magic back in Colorado’s face finally eh?) — until just five minutes into overtime, Nino Niederreiter put the game away and the Wild into the second round of the playoffs.
The Game 7 emotional roller coaster was intense, one I celebrated with many of my friends. Each time the Wild would go down a goal the tension in the room could be cut with a knife — we sat in almost still silence. Each time the Wild responded with a gorgeous goal of their own (Heatley’s was pedestrian, but come on, it’s Dany Heatley!) we would spring back to life and chat during the game with fervor.
Koivu beating Varlamov glove side, Nino’s first goal, Spurgeon being a surgeon (yes I planned that) with his game-tying snipe, all sent us into euphoric fits. But nothing compared to Nino’s second, game-winning goal breaking the tension and sending us all in a crazy celebration. Call it overkill, but this turned out to be one unforgettable Game 7, and the finish deserved a crazy celebration.
The video (my cousin so smartly set up without any of our knowledge) starts in overtime just as the Avalanche have a golden chance to break our spirits — the game is so nerve-wrecking you can even hear me (in the red hat) say that I hope this doesn’t go to three overtimes (I would not have been able to handle it). Moments later, Nino took the “shot heard around the state of Minnesota” and clinked the crossbar with a goal none of us Wild fans will ever forget.
You can also see us going a bit nuts waiting for the confirmation, me begging the ref to signal a goal (“DO THIS!”) with my best impression of a referee pointing to center ice. What a game, what a night — I’m glad the Wild won, and I’m even more glad I got to spend it with my friends.
The Wild are now 3-0 all-time in Game 7’s. Bring on Chicago.
Photo via: Minnesota Wild
Video via: Andrew Miner