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Remembering Pittsburgh's best OT sports wins

| Wednesday, June 4, 2008

When Petr Sykora's triple-overtime goal beat the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final early Tuesday morning, the game earned a place in Pittsburgh sports lore.

In the spirit of the plus-sized hockey game, here's a look at 12 other memorable overtime wins by Pittsburgh sports teams over the past two decades:

Dec. 31, 1989

Steelers win overtime wild-card playoff game at Houston

In a season that began with a 51-0 loss to the Cleveland Browns -- the worst defeat in Steelers history -- coach Chuck Noll manages to get his young team into the playoffs. Facing the Oilers at the Astrodome, the old rivals play a back-and-forth thriller. With 46 seconds remaining, Merrill Hoge's 2-yard rushing touchdown sends the game into overtime. In the extra period, the Steelers' Rod Woodson recovers a fumble to set up a game-winning, 51-yard field goal by Gary Anderson.

April 21, 1991

Pirates answer Chicago's five-run 11th with six runs for 13-12 win

The Cubs opened a five-run lead with a four-run eighth, but the Pirates rally with four runs in the bottom of the inning and one in the ninth to tie the score. After Andre Dawson's grand slam helps the Cubs take a 12-7 lead, the Pirates storm back. Don Slaught's two-run double results in an improbable win.

May 9, 1992

Ron Francis scores overtime game-winner in Game 4 against the New York Rangers

Playing their second game without Mario Lemieux, who was infamously slashed by Adam Graves, the Penguins trail, 3-1, in the second period before recovering and sending it to overtime. Francis finishes a hat trick when he scores at 2:47 of OT to give the Penguins a 5-4 victory that ties the series and begins an 11-game winning streak that ends with a Game 4 win over Chicago in a Stanley Cup final sweep.

April 24, 1996

Petr Nedved ends four-OT game, ties series with Capitals

At 139 minutes, 16 seconds, the quarterfinal game against the Washington Capitals is the third-longest in NHL history at that point and the longest in 60 years. In Washington, the Capitals are trying to take a 3-1 series lead. The odds increase when, shockingly, Mario Lemieux is ejected for instigating a fight at the end of the second period. But this game is defined by the goaltenders, who put in fantastic performances. Washington's Olaf Kolzig makes 62 saves. Ken Wregget stops 53 while relieving injured starter Tom Barrasso. Forty-four seconds away from a fifth overtime, Nedved ends it with a power-play goal from the left circle.

July 31, 1996

Kurt Angle wins an Olympic gold medal in wrestling

The Mt. Lebanon native overcomes severe injuries at the Olympic Trials and takes Olympic gold in an overtime referee's decision at the Atlanta Games. Angle, suffering from a neck problem, decisions Abbas Jadidi of Iran in the heavyweight class.

July 12, 1997

Mark Smith's 3-run homer completes a no-hitter for Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon

Cordova pitches nine hitless innings against the Astros, yet he leaves without a decision. Rincon pitches a perfect 10th in front of a raucous crowd at sold-out Three Rivers Stadium. In the bottom of the extra frame with two men on and two outs, Smith slams a John Hudek pitch into the third level of seats at the stadium to give the Pirates a 3-0 walk-off win. The victory preserves the major leagues' first combined extra-inning no-hitter.

Nov. 28, 1997

Pete Gonzalez leads Pitt to Backyard Brawl win over West Virginia in triple-OT

The Panthers enter Morgantown with a 5-5 record under first-year head coach Walt Harris. A win would make Pitt eligible for its first bowl game in eight seasons. The rival Mountaineers are 7-3 and trying to build their own bowl resume. Gonzalez passes for 248 yards, and his most important completion comes in overtime. On a fourth-and-17, Gonzalez threads a 20-yard completion through the WVU defense. The Panthers win, 41-38, in triple overtime and go to the Liberty Bowl later that year.

May 10, 2001

Darius Kasparaitis' OT goal in Game 7 against Buffalo sends the Penguins to the Eastern Conference final.

In Buffalo, the Pens and Sabres play their third consecutive overtime game of the series. The winner has a date with New Jersey. Kasparaitis, who has one playoff goal, fires a shot past Sabres goaltender Dominik Hasek. To celebrate his winning goal, the big-hitter slides on his belly down to the ice, as teammates pile on top of him.

June 20-21, 2003

Pirates win back-to-back 15-inning games over the Cleveland Indians

To kick off an interleague series at PNC Park, Randall Simon delivers a 5-4 victory with a walk-off home run. In the second game, Abraham Nunez hits a triple and scores on a wild pitch to give the Pirates a 7-6 win. Cleveland has its chances to put the Pirates away both times, holding a 3-0 lead in the first game and 3-0 and 5-1 leads in the second.

Jan. 15, 2005

Jeff Reed kicks 33-yard field goal in OT to beat the New York Jets

This game is remembered as much for kicker Doug Brien's field goal misses as anything else. Brien becomes the first kicker to miss two field goal attempts in the final two minutes of a postseason game. Ben Roethlisberger atones for earlier mistakes, including an interception return for a touchdown, to win his first playoff game. He leads a 14-play, 72-yard drive to set up Reed's game-winning field goal.

Jan. 4, 2006

No. 20 and unbeaten Pitt survives Notre Dame in double overtime, 100-97

The Pitt men's basketball team opens the season 12-0 for just the fifth time in the program's history, thanks to this thriller. The Irish's Chris Quinn, who leads all scorers with 37 points, hits a 3-pointer and layup in the final 18 seconds of regulation to force overtime. Notre Dame also overcomes a seven-point deficit in last 21 seconds of the first overtime. Pitt responded behind Ronald Ramon, whose 3-pointer with 15 seconds left in the second OT gives the Panthers the lead for good.

Dec. 20, 2007

Pitt scores win over Duke at Madison Square Garden

In one of the program's most anticipated nonconference games, Pitt uses Levance Fields' 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds left to defeat Duke, 65-64, in overtime. Fields dedicates the shot to teammate Mike Cook, who tore his ACL at the start of overtime. Additional Information:

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