Some Random Historical Notes

With some time to kill here in warm, sunny Norfolk, took a look at some historical playoff data:

This is only the second time in franchise history that the team has won back-to-back playoff games in overtime.  The only other instance of that was in the 2004 postseason, when the Wolf Pack won Game Three of the Atlantic Division Finals 4-3 in Worcester, then finished off a sweep of the old IceCats in Game Four in the longest game in franchise history, a triple-overtime marathon in Hartford.  That game was won at 7:49 of the third OT on a goal by, yes indeed, Ken Gernander.

Speaking of the Whale’s current head coach, and former long-time captain, he was also involved in the only two playoff goals in franchise annals that came faster than the two the Whale scored in 12 seconds in the first period of Wednesday’s Game One in Norfolk.  Gernander and Derek Armstrong connected 11 seconds apart in Game One of the 1999 Eastern Conference Semifinals at Providence.  The Whale would eventually lose that game 5-4 in double overtime, one of four narrow defeats in a frustrating four-game sweep at the hands of Terry Virtue and the eventual Calder Cup-champion Bruins.

Andreas Thuresson’s overtime goal at 2:53 of Wednesday’s extra session was the second-fastest playoff OT winner in team history, surpassed only by Jozef Balej’s tally only 12 seconds into the OT of that 2004 Game Three victory at Worcester.

Staying with the overtime theme, if the Whale were to go beyond regulation tonight, that would match the franchise record for most consecutive trips to overtime, three, in a single postseason.  The only other time that happened was in 2002, when the Wolf Pack knocked Manchester from the playoffs in a 3-2, double-overtime triumph in a winner-take-all Game Five in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, then lost Game One of the next series to Hamilton in OT before tying that matchup with another double-overtime thriller in Game Two.  Don’t know if you remember,

“Sudden-death Willie”, in his current role as a Syracuse Crunch assistant coach (Dennis Nett/The Post-Standard)

but both of those multiple-OT game-winners were scored by defenseman Marty Wilford, who was on loan to the Wolf Pack from the Nashville Predators at that point and began to be known as “Sudden-death Willie” in some circles.

In terms of streaks, the Whale’s current run of four straight playoff wins is the longest since the 2004 Wolf Pack won eight straight between a 3-1 home loss to Portland in their first playoff game of that year and a road loss by the same score to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals.  Also, this is the first time the team has won as many as four straight to start the postseason since the first edition of the Wolf Pack, E.J. McGuire’s 1998 group, won its first five.

And on the other side, not that it means a whole heck of a lot, but since their insane 29-game winning streak that ended with a Game-Two loss to Manchester, the Admirals are only 2-2 in their last four outings.  Hardly qualifies as a slump, but this crew hasn’t faced much in the way of adversity all year.  That’s to their credit, as their great play and consistency has prevented them from having any real downs.  Still, it will be interesting to see how they respond tonight.



One Response to “Some Random Historical Notes”

  1. chris Says:

    no worries we got 3 games comming up here at home and w have a 1-1 tie we good. 2 early to panic right now.

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