Only one Stanley Cup playoff hockey game took place on Saturday night, and a former Boston College Eagle was directly involved in the final outcome of not only that contest, but that series.
Brooks Orpik was a member of Jerry York’s team from 1998 to 2001, and like several other active National Hockey League players, played in the thrilling 2001 championship game against North Dakota. On Saturday, he did not merely help the Pittsburgh Penguins advance to the second round: he put them there.
Orpik scored the game-winning goal in overtime of Game 6 against the New York Islanders to clinch that series and send Pittsburgh to the Eastern Conference semifinals, in which they are guaranteed to play the Ottawa Senators. A defenseman, Orpik had no goals during the regular season or the first five games of the series; he clearly saved his best for last as his team is through the first round.
It goes without saying that Orpik was also the first star of the game.
Former Eagle Marty Reasoner was again a healthy scratch, and his season is now over. He had received a game misconduct in the first meeting of the series for a knee to Jussi Jokinen.
Meanwhile, at the lower levels of professional hockey, the Providence Bruins and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins faced off once again in a Calder Cup playoff game. This series is full of ex-Eagles: Philip Samuelsson, Brian Dumoulin, Brian Gibbons, Chris Collins, and former captain Tommy Cross. All but Cross play in the Penguins organization, but Cross got the last laugh as his Bruins won, 4-2. Gibbons scored one of the Penguins’ goals while Cross assisted on a Bruins goal.