In the first overtime period, the Cougars nearly ended the game when a loose puck in the front of the net came inches away from crossing the line. Several Cougars on the ice, as well as the student section, began celebrating before the puck emerged from the net.
“I don’t really know what happened there,” Fuller said. “All they said was that it wasn’t a goal.”
After a break to resurface the ice following the first overtime session, McGargar said her team remained loose.
“We were calm,” she said. “We practiced this many times, having pressure situations. We just did our best to play like another period and didn’t stop believing.”
Earlier in the double overtime, the Cougars squandered a power play of their own.
“We didn't make it easy for ourselves,” Fuller said. “But I tip my hat to Willmar. What a game ... it was great to have this win in front of our home crowd.”
After the game, the Cougars basked in the glow of their nail-biting victory. Unfinished business remains, however.
“This was by far the best win I’ve been apart of,” Kolstad said. "But we've got another game at Gustavus to go.”
East/Loyola (22-5) plays Thursday at Gustavus Adolphus in the Section 2A championship.