After more than 103 minutes of flip-a-coin playoff hockey, Jakub Voracek was too tired to shoot. The Halifax Mooseheads are glad he did it anyway.
The 18-year-old Czech superstar put the fourth-longest game in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League history to bed at 3:02 of the third overtime period last night at Centre 200 in Sydney, beating Cape Breton Screaming Eagles goalie Olivier Roy with a high wrist shot to give Halifax an exhausting 4-3 victory.
With the win, the Mooseheads grabbed a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven quarter-final, with Game 4 set for tonight at 7 p.m. in Sydney.
“I couldn’t believe it went in,” a grinning Voracek said of the goal. “We have to go to bed soon. Everybody was pretty tired, because it was like playing the third period of your second game (that night).”
Voracek added two assists. Ryan Hillier, Colby Pridham and Yuri Cheremetiev scored for the Herd in regulation.
The game brought Mooseheads head coach Cam Russell back to similar marathon games during his NHL playing career with the Chicago Blackhawks.
“One time in the mid-1990s, I think we played two triple-overtime games in the same series,” Russell recalled. “I remember looking up at the clock and it was 11 o’clock at night, and I hadn’t had a shift since about eight-o’clock. What a long night on the bench that was.”
Mark Yetman was sensational when it mattered most for Halifax, stopping all 21 shots in extra time and finishing with 50 saves. Roy was the hard-luck loser, turning aside 57 shots.
Joey Haddad scored twice in defeat, but the hometown Eagles will go to bed counting glorious overtime chances on his fingers and toes.
Jan Piskacek also scored for a heartbroken Cape Breton team, which left the ice to respectful cheers from a sold-out crowd of 4,794.