Hail to the Providence College hockey Friars, NCAA Division I champions for the first time.
PC rallied for a 4-3 victory over Boston University Saturday night before 18,022 spectators at TD Garden in Boston. The Friars scored two goals in a span of 2 minutes and 19 seconds in the third period to erase a 3-2 deficit. They needed an acrobatic save by goalkeeper Jon Gillies on a Nick Roberto shot with a minute to play to preserve the victory.
Providence lost its only other championship game appearance in 1985 to RPI.
PC got goals from Anthony Florentino at 9:25 of the first period and from Mark Jankowski on a power play at 4:29 of the second period to tie the game at 2-2. BU's Ahti Oksanen and Danny O'Regan scored four seconds apart in the first period, an NCAA record. Oksanen scored at 12:50 and O'Regan at 12:54 after Jack Eichel won the faceoff.
BU went ahead 3-2 on Cason Hohmann's goal off a rebound at 11:36 of the second period. PC tied the score at 11:24 of the third period when BU goalie Matt O'Connor botched the save of a long shot by Tom Parisi and the puck trickled through his legs and into the cage at. Brandon Tanev scored the eventual game winner at 13:43 on a faceoff feed from Kevin Rooney in the BU end. BU had been 19-0-0 when leading after two periods.
Gillies, the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, made 49 saves, O'Connor 39. PC held Eichel, the BU's brilliant freshman and Hobey Baker winner as the best player in college hockey, to one assist.
Providence (26-13-2) finished second to BU in the Hockey East regular season and lost to New Hampshire in three games in the Hockey East quarterfinals. They received an at-large bid to the 2015 NCAA tournament and defeated Miami of Ohio and Denver at the East Regional in Providence and Nebraska-Omaha last Thursday in the Frozen Four.
BU (28-8-5) won the Hockey East tournament and was the third seed in the NCAA event. The Terriers won the Northeast Regional by beating Yale in overtime and Minnesota Duluth and defeated North Dakota in the Frozen Four.
PC will celebrate the national championship Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Schneider Arena.