Prior to the Sectional 3 girls regional game between visiting Viroqua and host Black River Falls, a visitor was joking with Viroqua Coach Paul Severson, saying the game would 'probably go five overtimes, or something stupid like that.'
It went six overtimes and ended just before 11:25pm, with freshman Hannah Lane scoring the biggest goal of her young career with a putback past 'superhero' goalie Abigail Severson with 3:09 left in period number 9, giving the Tigers a thrilling, yet tiring 2-1 victory at the Milt Lunda Memorial Arena Thursday evening.
Severson gained her 'caped crusader' status by turning aside an amazing 108 shots in 110 attempts, nearly one shot per minute in a game that was nearly 2 1/2 'games' long. Tigers goalie Josie Mathison was close to perfection, stopping 26 of 27 in the contest.
(Earlier in the day, Severson had dislocated her right pinky finger while playing dodge ball. "She had me quite frustrated," said Coach Severson.)
The Tigers and Blackhawks played three previous games during the regular season, each one ending in a 2-1 BRF win.
The Blackhawks held up their end of the bargain, putting their '1' on the scoreboard late in the first period.
Midway through a power play, Rachel Simonson scored from close in past Mathison. The unassisted goal was the freshman's team-leading 14th of the year.
There was no scoring in the second period, which would be a common theme throughout the 4 hour, 23 minute marathon.
An internet search found a February 2016 game between East Ridge and Apple Valley (MN) that lasted 121 minutes, 58 seconds as the possible previous longest contest.
The first 14 minutes of the third were a sin bin worker's nightmare, as the teams combined for five infraction incarcerations.
Coach Severson took a time out with 3:37 left to let his troops get a breather, as they had spent six minutes on the PK earlier in the period.
Just when it looked like Viroqua might sneak by with a win, their hearts were broken when Lexie Hagen tapped in a rebound off a point shot by National Anthem singer Annelise Swiggum with 1:50 left on the game clock. It was also Hagen's 14th tally of the year, also a team-leading total.
Then started the long string of alternating scoreless eight and 17-minute periods. The Tigers had power plays in the second and fifth OT stanzas, but could not convert.
Finally in the sixth overtime session, Lane sent a rebound past Severson with 3:09 left for the game-winner and while the Tigers pounced on their hero in the right face-off circle, the Blackhawks consoled theirs in the crease in front of the freshly-scored goal.
"She was able to snag the puck and send it to the back of the net," said BRF coach Oak Moser. "It was a hard work goal and a nice opportunistic finish by Lane."
In the handshake line, Moser put the game puck in Severson's glove saying, 'Great game, this game puck is yours!'
Black River Falls (11-13-1) will take on Metro Lynx Tuesday night at the Madison Ice Arena for the right to move on to the sectional title game.
Viroqua finishes the campaign with a mark of 7-16-2 and will graduate four seniors (Severson, Alyssandra Dehlin, Angie Harnish, and Kelsey Shaner).