BU takes stunning win
WASHINGTON -- Did anybody expect anything different?
An NCAA tournament that was filled with stunning comebacks and thrilling finishes ended just that way in Verizon Center on Saturday night.
Boston University scored two extra-attacker goals in the final minute of regulation to tie the game, then won its fifth national championship in overtime, defeating Miami 4-3.
Sophomore defenseman Colby Cohen's snap shot from the top of the left circle deflected off diving Miami defenseman Kevin Roeder and fluttered over goalie Cody Reichard's shoulder 11 minutes, 47 seconds into overtime, capping the game and a wild tournament.
It is Boston University's first national championship since 1995 and it marked just the second time since the tournament field expanded to 16 teams (2003) that the No. 1 overall seed won the title.
"Wow, what a hockey game. What a finish," Boston University coach Jack Parker said. "The finish made it an unbelievable game, obviously. It's the greatest comeback I've ever been involved in."
Miami appeared to be on track to become the first No. 4 seed ever to win a national title when Tommy Wingels and Trent Vogelhuber scored back-to-back goals to give the Redhawks a 3-1 lead with less than five minutes left.
But Parker pulled goaltender Kieran Millan with three minutes and the Terriers converted twice.
Zach Cohen scored on a blind backhand from the bottom of the left circle with 59 seconds left and Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner Matt Gilroy fed Nick Bonino for a one-timer in the right circle with 17 seconds left.
Cohen was named the tournament's most outstanding player after winning it.
"I was really concerned coming in because the teams that are supposed to win the tournament usually don't," Parker said. "The team that plays great in March and April is the team that wins this tournament. Sometimes, the best team doesn't win."
This time, the top-ranked team did win. The Terriers started the season with an impressive 5-1 victory over UND and held on to the nation's No. 1 ranking for most of the season. They posted a 17-0-2 record away from home down the stretch and were always on the right side of the crazy finishes.
The Terriers, who didn't have to play a No. 1 or a No. 2 seed in the tournament, reached the Frozen Four behind a Jason Lawrence goal with 15 seconds left in the Northeast Regional final against New Hampshire.
On Thursday, they trailed Vermont by a goal with less than seven minutes left, but got tallies from Chris Higgins and Colin Wilson in the final 6:53. And on the big stage Saturday, the Terriers pulled out another victory, leaving the Redhawks shocked and devastated.
"It doesn't feel good right now," said Miami coach Enrico Blasi, whose program had never before played for a national title in any sport. "But the sun will come up tomorrow and the guys will realize what they accomplished. It's going to sting a while, but like I said, we made history and hopefully we can continue that into the future."
Notes: Western Collegiate Hockey Association officials Marco Hunt and Todd Anderson called the game. Warroad's Matt Ulwelling worked his first national championship game as a linesman. . . Miami will play UND and Bemidji State in a Thanksgiving weekend showcase next season. . . Gilroy became the first player since Minnesota's Jordan Leopold to win the Hobey and a national title in the same weekend. . . This was the first national title game to go to overtime since Minnesota's victory over Maine in 2002.
Boston University 4, Miami 3, OT
Key play: Colby Cohen's game-winning goal with 8:13 left in overtime.
Key player: Cohen, game-winning goal.