There were many factors that made it so unbelievable. First, the game was played at Cornell. There is no more daunting a crowd to face then the one at Cornell. The atmosphere in the building is electric in support of its home team, and it is no wonder that Cornell is so good at home. Cornell goalie Ben Scrivens made a great save 10 seconds before the tying goal, which got the capacity crowd off its feet and bowing in awe to the save he had made. The building was as loud as it had been for the whole game, but 10 seconds, a faceoff win, and two passes later, the air began to deflate from the crowd's balloon. Eighteen seconds and an odd-man rush later the balloon was empty.
Second, Princeton had not been able to put a puck past Scrivens in the previous 153 minutes of game time dating back to last season, although the people in attendance at Baker Rink on Feb. 23, 2008 sitting at the press box end of ice would disagree. Either way, it had been a long time since Princeton had scored on Scrivens and it looked like another shutout was coming before the late goals.
Third, hockey is just a sport where the team that scores first and enters the third period with a lead usually wins. In the last two years worth of Princeton games, the team that scores first is 48-12 and teams leading entering the third period are 45-7. So comebacks in the third period, let alone ones in the last minute, just are not everyday occurrences.
It is easy to say that the win is one of the best comebacks in Princeton hockey history. While TigerBlog hasn't been around for all of them, it agrees.
What defines a comeback for the ages is the deficit overcome and the time period needed to do it. Saturday's comeback was epic because it happened so late in the game, not because of the deficit. Cornell scored its goal midway through the second period. Had Princeton evened the score late in the second and won it in the third, it wouldn't be the story it is now.
Monumental comebacks have both elements, the big deficit and the short time duration. For example, just a few weeks ago, Yale trailed Colgate 4-0 with five minute gone in the third period before scoring five goals in a span of 14:36 including overtime to win 5-4.
Princeton has had a few attempted comebacks like that in the last two years that fell just short. Last year at Union, Princeton trailed 4-0 before scoring three extra attacker goals in the final seven minutes in a 4-3 loss. Then this season, after falling behind 4-0 to Mercyhurst, Princeton scored four goals to tie the Lakers with 2:01 left in the third only to have Mercyhurst rebound and scored two more goals 22 seconds apart and win 6-4. How Princeton felt that night, is probably similar to how Cornell felt on Saturday.