Saturday, April 11, 2009
BOSTON UNIVERSITY CLAIMS NATIONAL TITLE WITH 4-3 OVERTIME WIN OVER MIAMI
Sophomore defenseman Colby Cohen scores overtime game-winner and is named Tournament MOP
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Colby Cohen capped off a dramatic Boston University comeback with his eighth goal of the season at the 11:47 mark of the first overtime to give the Terriers a 4-3 victory over Miami University in the NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championship at the Verizon Center on Saturday night.
The win gives Boston University its fifth national championship and first since 1997. The Terriers also won titles in 1971, 1972, 1978 and 1995.
BU finished the season with a school-record 35 victories and ended the 2008-09 campaign with a 35-6-4 record. The victory also gave head coach Jack Parker his 30th career NCAA Tournament triumph, an NCAA record.
Maimi University, meanwhile, finished the season with a 23-13-4 record and was playing in its first title game in any sport in school history. Miami, which has the most victories of any team in the country over the last four years and was making its first appearance in the Frozen Four, was one minute from capturing its first-ever title.
The Terriers, however, would not be denied in their 10th title game appearance.
Trailing 3-1 late in the third period, the Terriers' Zach Cohen narrowed the margin to one at 3-2 at the 19:00 mark of the third period. With the sellout crowd of 18,512 on its feet, Nick Bonino tied the score at three with just 18 seconds left as he one-timed a feed from Chris Higgins past Miami goalie Cody Reichard's glove with just 18 seconds left in regulation.
Cohen then capped off the rally and ended the first overtime game in the NCAA title contest since 2002 at the 11:47 mark of the extra session. The Terriers cycled the puck in their own offensive end and Cohen let go of a blast from the blue line. The puck was deflected by a sliding RedHawk defender into the net past a screened Cody Reichard, setting off a wild BU celebration.
Miami took its 3-1 lead on the strength of an opportunistic offense and a stifling defense. The RedHawks trailed 1-0 after one period, but scored three unanswered goals by three different players.
BU took its 1-0 lead on a goal by freshman Chris Connolly at the 15:15 mark of the first period, but Miami tied the contest on Gary Steffes' 11th netter of the season just two minutes into the second period.
With the game inching closer to overtime, Miami's Tommy Wengels stuffed home a rebound at the 12:31 mark of the third period to give the RedHawks a 2-1 advantage with just 7:29 to play.
Miami then pushed the lead to two goals when Trent Vogelhuber netted just his second goal of the season on a blast from the point with just 4:08 to play.
BU head coach Jack Parker, coaching in his sixth NCAA Championship, took a calculated risk and it got the Terriers back in the game. Parker pulled Millan with 3:30 to play in regulation and skating with an extra player, scored two goals in the final minute to send the game into overtime.
The win capped off an amazing run for Boston University, which went 28-2-4 in the final 34 games of the season and went 17-0-2 in its last 19 games away from its home ice, Agganis Arena.
Both teams recorded 32 shots on the evening. BU freshman goalie Kieran Millan, who was the Hockey East Rookie of the Year and finished 2008-09 with a sterling 29-2-3 record, stopped 29 shots for the Terriers. Reichard made 28 saves for the RedHawks. The Terriers were bolstered by a strong BU penalty-kill effort, stopping all seven Miami power-play chances.
Cohen was named the MOP of the Frozen Four and was joined by teammates Colin Wilson, Nick Bonino and Kieran Millen and Miami's Tommy Wingels and Kevin Roeder.