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Crowd Factor

Sunday, 05.5.2013 / 5:11 PM ET / News
By Cory Wright
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Crowd Factor

Loud, proud and tough. The qualities that make Long Islanders, Long Islanders were on full display Sunday afternoon in a sold-out Nassau Coliseum as the Islanders hosted the Penguins in Game 3, a 5-4 overtime loss.

The Islanders stormed out of the gate to the tune of 16,170 raucous fans. From the opening draw, the Islanders pushed the pace, threw the body and looked ready to dictate the battle. With each hit, the fans roared and with a 2-0 lead 5:41into the game, the Coliseum was loud.

Really loud. Playoff loud.

“The fans were unbelievable,” Travis Hamonic said. “I’ve played in some big tournaments and big games in my life and nothing has been that loud.”

The first fans filtered into the parking lot to tailgate at 7 a.m. and lined up by the hundreds at the gates to be a part of the first playoff game at the Coliseum since 2007. Hamonic noted that when he pulled into the lot around 9:30 – it was packed.

“Unfortunately its been six years since they had a playoff game, but today you could tell that they were waiting to blow,” Hamonic said. “They did an unbelievable job and really sent chills up my spine.”

There were cheers for the game’s big moments – Kyle Okposo’s breakaway goal, John Tavares’ first playoff marker ¬– but the hockey-mad crowd also cheered the less glamorous plays, such as defensive clears, or each one of Andrew MacDonald’s three blocked shots.

“It gives you a rush,” MacDonald said. “You aren’t thinking about it at the time. It’s desperation throwing yourself in front of pucks. They were behind us all night and gave us a lot of energy.”

There was a lull in the second period as the Penguins took the lead, but the fans revived the Islanders heartbeat, which led to the Tavares goal.

“After we got that third goal ... they did a heck of a job getting behind us and giving us that extra push,” MacDonald said.

The Islanders were resilient in their comeback effort, but ultimately fell in overtime. The fans and players left the game itching for more. They only have to wait until Tuesday’s Game 4 to rock the Coliseum again.

Next time, it’ll be louder, prouder and tougher.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
5 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 CAR 55 24 21 10 131 143 58
11 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
12 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 50 20 23 -2 43
K. Okposo 51 15 28 -9 43
F. Nielsen 53 15 19 -1 34
B. Nelson 53 20 11 -1 31
M. Grabovski 53 9 16 3 25
A. Lee 53 9 15 0 24
J. Bailey 52 9 15 4 24
N. Leddy 53 3 21 -7 24
R. Strome 42 6 15 -4 21
C. Cizikas 53 5 12 5 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 13 11 4 .918 2.27
T. Greiss 15 6 2 .929 2.24
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