Providence Upsets Boston University For Their First National Title

At the TD Garden not too far from their campus, the Boston University Terriers were looking to bring home yet another national title. However, the "Cinderella" Providence ice danced its way into the hearts of America capturing the school's first national title in hockey. Brandon Tanev's wristshot gave the Friars the lead for good after Matt O'Connor's blunder misjudging the puck dumped in by Providence's Tom Parisi and ended up dropping the puck into his own net to tie the game at 3-3.

Led by Hobey Baker (awarded to the top player in college hockey) winner Jack Eichel, the Terriers were favorite to capture their sixth national title seeded third into the NCAA Tournament. They escaped one goal victories over Yale and Minnesota-Duluth then knocked off the two seed, North Dakota, in the Frozen Four, to book their place in the title game. Meanwhile, Providence came into this tournament unseeded and were not even favorites to make it out fo their first round showdown with fourth seeded Miami (Ohio). After defeating Miami (Ohio) 7-5, Providence would beat Denver then the University of Nebraska-Omaha on their route to the finals.

Anthony Florentino opened up the scoring putting up Providence 1-0, but just a few minutes later, Ahti Oksanen and Danny O'Regan scored just four seconds apart (an NCAA Tournament record) to put Boston University up 2-1 after the first period. Mark Jankowski nodded things up at two a piece with a power play goal, however, once again the Terriers would respond as Cason Hohmann gave them the lead with just over eight minutes to play in the second.

In the third period, the seconds were ticking on Providence's hope on a national championship, and that's when momentum shifted massively in the favor of the Friars. With just over eight minutes left to play, Providence defenseman Tom Parisi dumped the puck in what looked to be a realtively easy chance for Matt O'Connor to deal with it. However the dumping of the puck was more like a blooper than a line drive making it difficult for O'Connor to handle it. After losing sight of the puck, O'Connor opened up his glove, and the puck fell into his own net. That blunder gave Providence new life, and Brandon Tanev would put home the winner with about six minutes to play. 

Frozen Four Most Outstanding Player was Providence goalkeeper Jon Gillies for stopping 49 shots in the championship game and his diving save to with under two minutes left prevented the game from being tied up. After it all, O'Connor looked down on himself as the reason Boston University was not hoisting the national championship, he said, "I couldn't really see it in my glove. I thought it rolled out of it. I tried to drop and throw it to Jack (Eichel) and it was too late," O'Connor said. "Everyone in this locker room deserves a lot better. They deserve to be hoisting the national championship right now." The Providence team showed their class in sportsmanship too telling O'Connor to keep his head up and reminded him how great he's done all season in the handshake line. Congratulations Providence on your first national championship!

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