As the clock in Tuesday night's semifinal ticked closer and closer to zero, it became apparent the seniors on the No. 2 Penn State ACHA Division I Icers were skating the final shifts of their career.
With defending champion No. 4 Illinois comfortably ahead 3-0, coach Scott Balboni wanted what he called "one of the best team classes ever" to have one last chance at continuing their careers one more night.
"The seniors gave their heart and soul to this team," he said. "That's why I played them the last three minutes. I figured if we were going to get back into the game, I'd let them be the ones to claw back into it and see if they could do it."
Penn State didn't get back into the game. The game ended, and with it, so did the careers of 13 Penn State Icers.
No, the resumÃ© for the senior class doesn't include a national championship, but it's far from blank.
It includes two national runners-up finishes and this year's appearance in the final four.
It has a player who finished his career with over 100 goals and 200 total points in Luke DeLorenzo.
A goalie, Nick Signet, who leaves Penn State as the fourth winningest goaltender in team history.
And a captain, Frank Berry, who Balboni has called one of the best captains the team has ever had and was voted to the position unanimously by his team.
"The legacy of this senior class is that these 13 guys have done so much for this program," junior Matt Kirstein said. "A lot of these guys played from Day One as freshmen.
"Even though they didn't win a national title, their legacy will be remembered for years to come here."
Despite coming even closer to a national championship his freshman and sophomore years, senior Jaime Zimmel said this year was the hardest.
After all, they might not have come closer than they have in the past, but at least those years they knew they had another chance the next season.
That feeling doesn't exist now.
"It hurts man," Zimmel said.
"I've been through it too many times, but this one hurts the most in my four years. But the group we had, it was the group we wanted, and I couldn't have picked a better team to go down with."
The success of this year's class started back in its freshman season, when the team upset NCAA Division I Robert Morris in Oct. 2005, led by now-senior DeLorenzo, and culminated this season with its second straight league championship and national tournament run to the semifinals.
For those 13 players there is no more next season, there's not another chance to win that elusive ACHA National Championship.
But championship or not, Kirstein didn't hesitate at all when asked about the legacy of the guys who are going to pass the torch along to him and the other two juniors next year.
"Oh," Kirstein said, "these 13 guys will be remembered here forever."