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Providence fans, players, local leaders celebrate Friars' first NCAA hockey championship

NHL.com @NHL

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Fans of the Providence College Friars erupted in cheers when the hockey team's co-captain Russ Mauermann exclaimed, "We're national champions!" during a Tuesday victory celebration at Schneider Arena.

The Friars defeated Boston University 4-3 on Saturday to win the NCAA Division I Championship at the TD Garden in Boston, its first national title.

"I never thought I'd be so happy to see so much ice on the ground once again," Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza told the crowd. "On behalf of the city, I am so proud that you are our national champions."

Brian Shanley, president of the independent Catholic college, speculated there was "some divine providence" in the team's win.

"In the middle of the game Saturday night, you could sense the tide was turning, that our guys were beginning to impose themselves on that BU team," he said.

Head coach Nate Leaman encouraged fans to take photos posing with the NCAA trophy, saying it did not belong to just the team, but to the entire college.

"I want you to know every one of you were part of it and part of our team this year," Leaman said.

Athletic director Bob Driscoll thanked the fans and the team, saying they represented the school with "dignity and class."

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