Crowd Factor

Sunday, 05.5.2013 / 5:11 PM ET / News
By Cory Wright
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Crowd Factor
The crowd at Nassau Coliseum was in full force for Game 3

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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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 77 34 43 -2 77
R. Strome 76 16 32 20 48
K. Okposo 55 16 31 -11 47
F. Nielsen 76 14 28 8 42
B. Nelson 77 19 22 7 41
A. Lee 71 23 16 10 39
J. Bailey 65 15 23 3 38
J. Boychuk 67 8 25 9 33
N. Leddy 73 10 21 14 31
T. Hamonic 67 5 26 16 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 36 16 2 .913 2.42
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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