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‘No Goal’ 13 Years Later — A Look Back

Not only do I remember the pain from “No Goal,” I was forced to witness the Dallas Stars celebration at the then-Marine Midland Arena as a reporter from Metro Community News. Brett Hull sat perched on his locker, looking over a sea of family, friends and teammates and soaking in the moment. It was his first Stanley Cup, and even today, it still feels jaded.

Buffalo’s Cinderella story came to an end on this day in 1999 in the third overtime of Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals. Even though Gary Bettman recently admitted they may have made the wrong call, it still hurts.

“I don’t really remember much about it,” Hull said of the goal after the game. “I just kind of bolted toward the net past their ‘D’ (defense). Jere (Lehtinen) shoveled one at the net, and I was there. I took a whack at it once, and it bounced off (Dominik) Hasek. I kicked it over to myself, and then all of a sudden, the puck was there again. I saw that his pad was in the air, and I just fired it over his pad.”

When I talked to Hull about his foot being in the crease after the game, he danced around the issue, just like he danced around Hasek. He just wanted to talk about winning his first championship.

“The pressure is unbelievable,” he said. “To score that goal…it’s like the weight of the world has been lifted.” It was Hull’s first Stanley Cup and he wasn’t going to let anyone ruin that moment. His answer about winning the Cup also sounded like an answer to the people who believed his skate was in the crease.

“Just get off my back,” he told reporters that night (about finally winning a championship). “It’s done and I don’t have to answer to anybody anymore.

Dominik Hasek tried to congratulate the Stars after the game, but added that the video goal judge must have been asleep at the wheel and complained about how quickly the doors opened and the Stanley Cup was paraded onto the ice.

“I’m very bitter because of what happened. It’s a shame,” Hasek said.

Lindy Ruff was more blunt (as if you could expect anything different) saying ‘we got robbed’.

13 years later Buffalo sports fans are still wondering ‘What if?’. Even if they had won that game, they still would have had to win a game 7 in Dallas and they were a formidable opponent. The Stars defense was stingy, Ed Belfour was on top of his game, and it seemed like every shot the Sabres took was being blocked by Derian Hatcher. Still, don’t you wish we had the opportunity to find out?

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