With go-ahead goal, Tanev writes history for Providence

Brandon Tanev holds the national championship trophy after Providence’s win (photo: Jim Rosvold).

BOSTON — Brandon Tanev might not know his history, but he knows how to make history.

The junior forward scored the game-winning goal with 6:17 to play to lift the Providence Friars to a 4-3 win over Boston University in the national championship game Saturday.

It was the first national title for Providence, but Tanev, when asked about the 1985 Friars team that lost 2-1 to Rensselaer in the championship game, didn’t know that Providence came up short in that one.

“I think we can both call ourselves national champions and share the amazing bond they had in ’85,” said Tanev, who was quickly (and jokingly) corrected by his teammates.

But Tanev’s game-winner, his 10th goal of the season and third in the NCAA tournament, was right on the money.

Kevin Rooney won the face-off in the BU zone and found Tanev, who snapped a quick wrist shot past goaltender Matt O’Connor to give the Friars a lead that they would not relinquish.

“It was a heck of a face-off call by [associate head coach Steve] Miller and Kevin did a great job of winning it back,” said Tanev. “I was fortunate enough to get the puck up and get a clean shot off and it happened to go over O’Connor’s shoulder.”

“‘Tanny’ had an unbelievable release on that shot,” said Providence goaltender Jon Gillies. “I don’t think any goalie stops that.”

“They make a bang-bang play of the faceoff,” said Boston University coach David Quinn. “We had our chances after that, a couple of glaring chances after that to tie it, and it was just a little too late.”

Providence coach Nate Leaman said winning draws in the third period was one of the keys to the game.

“They kicked our butts on faceoffs earlier in the game but we got better on faceoffs as the game went on,” he said. “Coach Miller drew up a heck of a play [on the winning goal].”

Leaman said it was gratifying that Tanev and Rooney combined for the biggest goal in Providence history.

“You win with guys that are gritty at this time of the year,” he said. “I think they’re two guys that rise to the occasion. It’s very fitting that they got the game winner.”

Leaman was able to chuckle at Tanev’s miscue after the game. On the ice, he made no mistake.

Notebook: Providence beats the odds with third-period comeback

Providence players pour onto the ice as time expires in their win over Boston University (photo: Jim Rosvold).

BOSTON — If you asked Providence Friars fans about their chances to win a national championship after the second period Saturday, you would absolutely have sensed some doubt.

They were not a particularly good team when it came to third-period comebacks this year, having gone 2-10-1 through their first 40 games in those scenarios. On the other side of the ice was Boston University, perfect at 19-0 while ahead.

The odds against PC were long; BU was 9-2 when hitting the 40-shot mark, 25-1-3 when scoring three or more goals.

“We played a great team tonight in BU, and they had us on our heels for a lot of the game,” said Friars coach Nate Leaman. “We managed to kind of hang in there and hang in there, and [we] saved our best for last. It’s kind of like our season this year, where we started off a little slow and just kind of found ourselves and got better and better.”

One thing greatly assisting the Friars was their ability to win faceoffs. They finished an even 38-38, with Noel Acciari winning 13 of the 16 he took.

“They were killing us in the neutral zone,” Leaman said. “They were getting through the neutral zone with so much speed and we were kind of on our heels. We weren’t able to hold the blue line real well. And because of that, you know, we felt like we were on our heels a little bit because they were gaining so much speed through there.

“We tried to adjust a little bit in the neutral zone. I don’t know if that helped or not. I think it was really more of the guys just saying, we’ve got 20 minutes left. We’ve got to lay it all on the line and get after it.”

Bombs away

Before the drama of the third period, the Terriers broke records with the firepower of their offense. Their 40 shots on net through 40 minutes — and subsequent 37 saves by Providence netminder Jon Gillies — set national championship game records.

“We were just very excited to play,” said Terriers forward Cason Hohmann. “We came out the same we we’ve been playing all season. Got pucks behind the defensemen. Dial down low. Won a lot of faceoffs, a lot of goals off faceoffs tonight. So that was huge for us.”

BU and Providence finished with a combined 95 shots on goal, also an NCAA championship game regulation record. They fell short by one of tying the all-time record 96 set by Bowling Green and Minnesota-Duluth in 1984. The difference between the two games, however, is that Bowling Green and UMD played four overtimes.

Welcome to the club

With their national championship, Providence became the 20th institution to achieve the ultimate goal of a Division I college hockey crown. They are the fourth Hockey East school to become a national champion, joining Boston College, Boston University and Maine.

It’s the third year in a row and fourth time in the last five years that college hockey crowned a new champion, with Minnesota-Duluth, Yale and Union all reaching the summit. The last time we had three consecutive first time champions was 1948, 1949, and 1950 — the first three years of the tournament.

Under the current alignment of teams, Hockey East tied the Big Ten, the NCHC and the WCHA for second-most members with a national championship. The Big Ten (Minnesota, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin), the NCHC (Colorado College, Denver, Minnesota-Duluth and North Dakota) and the WCHA (Bowling Green, Lake Superior, Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan) have four champions.

ECAC Hockey leads all conferences with five champions (Cornell, Harvard, Rensselaer, Union and Yale). Atlantic Hockey is the only current conference yet to produce a national champion.

Speed demons

Think about what you can do in four seconds. You probably just read that sentence.

In the first period, Boston University scored two goals in the same amount of time it took you to read a sentence, when Ahti Oksanen and Danny O’Regan scored at 12:50 and 12:54 to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead.

After Oksanen scored, Jack Eichel won the ensuing faceoff and burst into the Providence zone. He kicked the puck over to O’Regan, who buried it past Jon Gillies for the score.

The four seconds between goals was the fastest in NCAA tournament history. It broke a record set by Michigan’s Gordon McMillan and Wally Gacek against Dartmouth on March 20, 1948 — the very first NCAA Division I championship.

Still, it’s only the fourth-fastest goal scoring combo in NCAA history. Colorado College (Tony Frasca and Omer Brandt) scored two in two seconds against Michigan Tech in 1952, and both New Hampshire (1971) and Omaha (1997) scored goals three seconds apart against Colgate and Denver, respectively. UNH’s is even more impressive when you consider both goals were scored by the same player — John Gray.

Big play: Boston University’s O’Connor misplays puck for tying goal

Boston University’s Matt O’Connor kneels after allowing the tying goal (photo: Jim Rosvold).

BOSTON — It looked routine. And then it didn’t.

From the neutral zone, Providence’s Tom Parisi lobbed the puck at Boston University goaltender Matt O’Connor, a high fluttering arc of a shot that O’Connor should have been able to handle like a center fielder handles a routine pop fly.

But he didn’t.

“I couldn’t really see it in my glove,” said O’Connor, a junior. “I thought it rolled out of it. I tried to drop and throw it … [but] it was too late.”

Parisi’s toss hit O’Connor’s right in the glove. The goalie’s hand actually closed on the puck briefly, but he turned his glove over immediately and let the puck go, never realizing that he had possession of it.

The puck dropped to the ice just as O’Connor jerked his head to look back over his right shoulder to see where it may have landed and instinctively dropped to his knees to protect the goal.

But the puck dropped a second ahead of O’Connor, hit the ice and bounced backward into the BU net, a self-inflicted five-hole goal that tied the game for Providence at 11:24 in the third period.

The BU players were shaken. Skating near the net, Terriers players Brandon Fortunato and A.J. Greer — both freshmen — brought their hands to their helmets in disbelief, each still clutching his stick and holding it aloft. Fortunato’s head dropped.

Two minutes and 19 seconds later in the Terriers’ right faceoff circle, the Friars executed a perfect play to get the puck to Brandon Tanev, who fired it over O’Connor’s right shoulder to score the game-winning goal.

“Everyone in this locker room deserves a lot better,” said O’Connor. “They deserve to be hoisting the national championship right now. Sports are tough.”

After the game, BU coach David Quinn tried to preempt any suggestion that O’Connor was to blame for Providence’s two third-period goals.

“We got to this point because we won as a team,” said Quinn, “and we lost the game tonight because as a team we didn’t play well enough. Bottom line: Providence played better and they won the hockey game.”

Quinn said that the Terriers, the youngest team in the country, may not have been able to prepare for what they encountered in the third period Saturday.

“We have four 18-year-old defensemen playing in the game tonight,” he said. “We’ve got eight freshmen in the lineup. Sometimes experience is the best remedy for situations that we were in tonight. And we don’t have a lot of it.”

Tanev’s goal breaks tie as Providence beats Boston University for title

Providence celebrates a goal in its win over Boston University (photo: Jim Rosvold).

BOSTON — Brandon Tanev broke a tie off a faceoff with 6:17 remaining, and Providence won its first national championship with a 4-3 victory over Boston University on Saturday.

The Friars’ Kevin Rooney won a faceoff aganst the Terriers’ Jack Eichel, and Tanev beat BU to the net and beat goaltender Matt O’Connor.

That came just over two minutes after O’Connor dropped the puck in his own net on a flip-in from center ice by the Friars’ Tom Parisi, a stunning turn of events that tied the game 3-3.

The Friars (26-13-2) outshot the Terriers 20-12 in the third period after Boston University (28-8-5) held a 40-23 advantage through two periods.

Jon Gillies made a career-high 49 saves for Providence.

Cason Hohmann gave Boston University a 3-2 lead after two periods. Providence’s Mark Jankowski had tied the game with a power-play goal earlier in the period.

Ahti Oksanen had a goal and an assist for the Terriers. The goal was the first of two for BU in a four-second span in the first period, setting an NCAA tournament record for quickest two goals.

Danny O’Regan scored after an Eichel rush off the faceoff immediately after Oksanen’s goal, giving the Terriers a 2-1 lead.

Anthony Florentino gave Providence a 1-0 lead.

The Friars are the second No. 15 overall seed to win the NCAA tournament in the last three years, joining Yale in 2013.

More coverage of the championship game to come.

Hohmann goal gives Boston University 3-2 lead over Providence after two periods

Providence’s Kevin Rooney finishes a check on Saturday (photo: Jim Rosvold).

BOSTON — Cason Hohmann’s 11th goal of the season gave Boston University a 3-2 lead over Providence through two periods of the national championship game Saturday at TD Garden.

The Friars’ Mark Jankowski tied the game at 2-2 on a power-play goal 4:29 into the second period off a feed from Trevor Mingoia.

But Hohmann gave the Terriers the lead again when he scored 11:36 into the second.

The Terriers scored two goals four seconds apart to take a 2-1 lead after one.

Boston University outshot Providence 40-23 through two periods.

Boston University breaks NCAA tournament record with two goals in four seconds, leads Providence after one period

Boston University and Providence are playing for the national championship trophy (photo: Jim Rosvold).

BOSTON — Boston University scored two goals in four seconds to take a 2-1 lead over Providence after the first period of the national championship game Saturday at TD Garden.

After Anthony Florentino gave the Friars the lead 9:25 into the period, the Terriers broke the record for fastest consecutive goals in an NCAA tournament game.

Ahti Oksanen beat Jon Gillies at 12:50, and Danny O’Regan finished off a Jack Eichel rush immediately off the ensuing faceoff.


The Terriers outshot the Friars 18-6 in the first period.

Line combinations for Boston University-Providence

BOSTON — Here are the lines for the Frozen Four championship game between Boston University and Providence:

Boston University (28-7-5)

17 Evan Rodrigues-9 Jack Eichel-10 Danny O’Regan
26 A.J. Greer-7 Cason Hohmann-2 Ahti Oksanen
13 Nikolas Olsson-21 Matt Lane-19 Robbie Baillargeon
12 Chase Phelps-11 Mike Moran-15 Nick Roberto

5 Matt Grzelcyk-16 John MacLeod
4 Brandon Hickey-25 Brandon Fortunato
27 Doyle Somerby-20 Brien Diffley

29 Matt O’Connor
30 Connor LaCouvee
1 Anthony Moccia

Providence (25-13-2)

20 Shane Luke-14 Ross Mauermann-9 Trevor Mingoia
18 Nick Saracino-24 Noel Acciari-26 Brian Pinho
21 Kevin Rooney-10 Mark Jankowski-22 Brandon Tanev
15 Steven McParland-12 Stefan Demopoulos

19 Jake Walman-3 John Gilmour
5 Kyle McKenzie-27 Josh Monk
6 Tom Parisi-16 Anthony Florentino
4 Mark Adams

32 Jon Gillies
35 Nick Ellis
1 Brendan Leahy

Both teams are dressing the same 21 players as in Thursday’s semifinals, and in the same combinations.

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