WASHINGTON, D.C. — In one of the most incredible comebacks in NCAA tournament history, Boston University defeated Miami 4-3 on a Colby Cohen goal at 11:47 of overtime to capture the school’s fifth national title and first since 1995.
Cohen’s shot from above the left faceoff circle deflected off Miami’s Kevin Roeder, popped in the air and looped over goaltender Cody Reichard (28 saves) to send the BU faithful who were part of the capacity crowd of 18,512 at the Verizon Center into pandemonium.
The game was sent to overtime with one of the most dramatic endings to regulation in tournament history.
After Miami broke a 1-1 deadlock on a Tommy Wingels goal with 7:29 remaining in the third period and Trent Vogelhuber buried an insurance marker with 4:08 left, the RedHawks looked to be headed to their first-ever national title.
That was until BU scored two extra-attacker goals in the final minute of regulation to send this year’s national title game to overtime.
BU coach Jack Parker pulled goaltender Kieran Millan with 3:23 remaining in regulation and Zach Cohen banged a rebound home at the left post with 59.5 seconds remaining to draw the Terriers within a goal.
That set up Nick Bonino, who one-timed a pass at the right faceoff dot past Reichard with 17.4 seconds to play to force the extra session.
BU took an early lead on a first-period Chris Connolly goal at 15:15. Defenseman David Warsofsky sent a puck on net from the left point that hit Miami’s Alden Hirschfeld and deflected towards Reichard. Before Reichard could cover the puck, Connolly got enough of it to push it into the net.
Miami had plenty of chances of its own in the first, particularly on three power plays, but was unable to solve Millan (29 saves).
Through 20 minutes, Miami held a 10-9 advantage in shots.
A Miami penalty late in the first put the Terriers on the power play to start the second. BU’s Chris Higgins had two point-blank opportunities at open nets, fanning on one and redirecting another off the side of the net.
Once the RedHawks killed the BU power play, they used the momentum to get on the board and draw even at 2:01. Gary Steffes buried a loose puck in a scrum in front of Millan for his 11th goal of the season, sending the Miami faithful into a frenzy.
Both clubs had quality chances throughout the remainder of the period. Miami’s Justin Mercier was stopped by Millan on a 2-on-0 at 10:45. Colby Cohen then rang a blast from the left point off the post with six minutes remaining to send the game to the third tied.
That was when Miami was at its best. Wingels’ goal came after Carter Camper made a dangling move at the blueline and fired a low shot on Millan. Wingels was Johnny-on-the-spot, burying the rebound with 7:29 left.
After Miami failed on the power play for the seventh time in the game, Vogelhuber picked the perfect time to score his second goal of the season, firing a hard wrist shot inside the right post.
That, though, only set up BU’s last-minute heroics that forced the overtime.