Glenbard appeared to be cruising to the semifinals of the Varsity Co-op state playoffs Wednesday in Bensenville.
It took a 4-1 lead heading into the third period, but no one told Lincoln-Way the game was over. What followed was pure mayhem.
Goals from Anthony Podder, Dominic Witkowski, Alex Cerda, and Kyle Barna (2 goals) gave Lincoln-Way the lead before Chris Conklin sent the game into overtime and Nick Pietro won it for Glenbard, 6-5.
"I'm just in shock right now," said Pietro, who finished with two goals. "I don't even know what to say, it's amazing."
It was Pietro who got things going for Glenbard (31-20-2), finding the back of the net with just under six minutes left in the first. Matt Letmanski added to the lead 40 seconds later. Kyla Barna scored for Lincoln-Way (34-15) to end the first, but Glenbard responded in the second period with goals from Sam Weiss and Kevin Gould.
"I told them at the break they've got to want it," said Lincoln-Way coach Tony Lindeman. "They needed to go out and seize the opportunity, and they did."
"I was panicking so much," Pietro said. "I just blacked out. I could not believe that they came back from a three-goal lead."
For Glenbard coach Jason Hawkins, panic was not an issue.
"We knew we had a bad stretch of a couple of minutes, giving up some power play goals and rebounds" he said. "But we also knew if we played the way we did the first two and a half periods then this was our game."
Pietro didn't quite know how to describe the game-winning goal.
"[Letmanski] got me the puck and I just went backhand, forehand and before I knew it the puck was in the back of the net and everyone was jumping on me," he said. "It's surreal."
Glenbard will play either AWF (Addison Trail, Fenton, Montini, and Willowbrook) or Maine Township in the semifinals Sunday.