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BU Shocks Miami, Takes NCAA Crown

by Alex Aragon / San Jose Sharks
After the Sharks had secured the Presidents' Trophy and home ice throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, several members of the Sharks organization shifted their attention to the NCAA Hockey Championship game where two of their own starred for their respective schools.


Tommy Wingels (6th round, 177th overall in 2008), who had an impressive tournament for the Cindarella story Miami (Ohio) RedHawks, battled John McCarthy (7th round, 202nd overall in 2006) and the eventual champion Terriers from Boston University.

Adding intrigue to the match up, the Sharks have players who have attended both Miami and BU on their current roster who had a vested interest in their alma mater's performance.

Defenseman Dan Boyle (1994-98) attended Miami of Ohio, while right wing Mike Grier (1993-96) attended Boston University and played for famed Head Coach Jack Parker's NCAA Championship team in 1995.

At the end, it was Boston University who won its fifth NCAA championship in dramatic fashion, scoring twice in the final minute of regulation to tie the game before Colby Cohen's goal at 11:47 of overtime gave the Terriers a 4-3 victory over Miami of Ohio on Saturday night.

"Wow. What a hockey game. What a finish," BU coach Jack Parker said. "The finish made it an unbelievable game, obviously. And all I can think of is that it's the greatest game comeback I've been involved in, the greatest comeback I've been involved in."

Miami was a minute away from winning the first NCAA title in any sport in school history. But the favored Terriers, the top-seeded team in the nation, refused to quit. BU made it 3-2 with 59.5 seconds remaining when Zach Cohen snuck a backhander past freshman goalie Cody Reichard.

The Terriers then worked the puck into the RedHawks' zone again, and Hobey Baker winner Matt Gilroy faked a shot and found Nick Bonino (6th round, 173rd overall in 2007; Bonino was one of the cornerstones in the trade deadline deal that acquired Travis Moen and Kent Huskins from Anaheim) alone in the lower right circle for a quick wrist shot that caught the far corner with 17.4 seconds remaining.

"I just got the puck out of the corner of my eye. I saw Nick sitting wide open. He put the puck on Nicky's stick and put it away," Gilroy said. "He went in and we went into overtime. Once we had that, I think the whole bench and the whole team knew it was ours."

BU had the better of the chances in overtime before Colby Cohen won it when he took a drop pass from Kevin Shattenkirk and teed up a slap shot that hit Miami's Kevin Roeder and fluttered over Reichard's shoulder and into the net, triggering an eruption from the BU bench and pandemonium among Terrier supporters in the sellout crowd of 18,512 at the Verizon Center in Washington.

"I saw a guy coming at me, and I thought about trying to fake and going around the guy, but the ice was already a little chewed up at that point," Cohen said. "I closed my eyes and shot it and here we are right now. I was just trying to shoot it toward the net. Take a slap shot and get it to the net and hope for a rebound. But got lucky, I guess."

Jubilation for the Terriers translated into bitter disappointment for the RedHawks.

"Obviously I want to congratulate BU in winning," Miami coach Enrico Blasi said. "It was a heck of a hockey game and somebody's gotta lose, and unfortunately it wasn't meant to be for us.

"They played great. They executed at the end, and I thought it was a great college hockey game. Probably the way it should be."

It was the fourth NCAA championship for Parker, who earned his 816th career victory. The Terriers won their first title since 1995.

"The only thing I can say, we won that game because big-time players make big-time plays," Parker said.

Miami broke a 1-1 tie with 7:29 remaining in regulation when Tommy Wingels rammed a rebound into a wide-open net. Trent Vogelhuber's blast from the high slot with 4:08 left appeared to give the RedHawks all the insurance they needed.

Parker pulled goaltender Kieran Millan with 3:23 remaining in regulation and the strategy paid off with the pair of sixth-attacker goals.

BU took an early lead when Chris Connolly shoved home a loose puck at 15:15 of the first period. Miami got even 2:01 into the second period when Gary Steffes buried a loose puck in a scrum in front of Millan for his 11th goal of the season.

ALL-AMERICAN HONORS


University of Minnesota Duluth goaltender Alex Stalock (4th round, 112th overall in 2005), who turned aside pucks with more proficiency than any other goaltender in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association this past winter, has been named to the 2008-09 American Hockey Coaches Association/Reebok All-America West Team. He becomes the 22nd Bulldog ever to earn All-American status.

Stalock, a native of South St. Paul, Minn., recently put the wraps on a record-breaking year as he set UMD single-season marks for both goals against average (2.13) and saves percentage (.924) and matched another team standard with five shutouts.

Last season, Stalock was voted UMD's Most Valuable Player as a sophomore after compiling a 13-17-16 overall record to go with a 2.35 goals against average and a .914 saves percentage. For his three-year career, he appeared in 101 games -- 100 in a starting role -- and was 39-44-17.


The NHL.com staff contributed to this report.



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