BU Today


The Ultimate Comeback

Two Terrier goals in final minute lead to OT victory


Photo by Edward A. Brown

Never before. Never again.

His hockey team trailing Miami (Ohio) University 3-1 with3:30 left in the final period of the NCAA college championship at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., coach Jack Parker did the one thing no coach wants to do: he pulled the do-or-die switch, calling goalie Kieran Millan (CAS’12) off the ice and sending six attackers in the opposing zone. The likelihood that BU would pull a victory out of the final game of its 34-victory, record-tying season had descended into the realm of the extremely improbable.

But not impossible.

In the final minute of regulation play, as BU fans held their breath and barely held onto their hopes, Zach Cohen (CAS’10) scored on a low-angle shot to bring the Terriers back within one goal of a tie.

Next, with just 17 seconds left on the clock, Matt Gilroy (MET’09) opted to pass rather than shoot, and sent the puck to Nick Bonino (CAS’11), who fired the game-tying shot, sending fans into a frenzy and the championship contest into sudden death.

Minutes later, a shot by Colby Cohen (CAS’11) deflected off Miami defenseman Kevin Roeder and slipped into the Miami goal, and the Boston University men’s hockey team became the NCAA champions.

The game, which marked the Terriers’ 10th appearance in the NCAA title game and the first since 1997, started well enough. In the first period a misdirected puck deflected off Miami’s Matt Tomassoni and Chris Connolly (CGS’10) tapped it into the Miami goal. But less than a minute later, the puck emerged from a scramble in front of the BU net and Miami’s Gary Steffes banged it home for the tie.

In the second period, both teams stepped it up, and while the speed of play and frequency of hits thrilled the crowd, neither found the net.

With 7:29 left in the third period, Carter Camper let go a shot that was knocked down in front by Kevin Shattenkirk (CAS’11), and the rebound was fired home by Miami’s Tommy Wingels, giving the Redhawks a 2-1 lead.

Ten minutes later, and with just four minutes left in the game, Miami’s Trent Vogelhuber ripped a shot from the high slot that got past Millan. For BU fans, the happy ending to a remarkable season was slipping away.

After taking the team’s final timeout, coach Parker made the call to pull Millan, a move that ignited a team that had fought too hard and had come too far to lie down now. With two goals in the final minute of regulation, and then the winner in sudden death overtime, this game is now the stuff of college sports legend, setting a new school record for wins in a season with 35, the most by any team since Michigan in the 1996-97 season.

Never before. Never again.

For more coverage of the game that no Terrier will ever forget and news on how we’ll be taking over Comm Ave to celebrate the championship, check back Monday morning.

To see ESPN video highlights, click here.


22 Comments on The Ultimate Comeback

  • Anonymous on 04.12.2009 at 12:16 pm

    Insane. Only game that ties this for intensity is Syracuse/UConn in 6OT’s

  • Anonymous on 04.12.2009 at 12:33 pm



  • Matt Smith (CAS'70/GSM'72) on 04.12.2009 at 1:41 pm

    A Team of Excellence...A Team of Character

    An unbelieveable comeback! The stuff of sports legends in any athletic competition, any where and at any time! These yound men represent the best of the University! Competence, excellence, commitment, perserverance and a combination of best individual efforts combined with a true team effort! That’s what we’re all about at BU! Great going guys! You represented us well and we are proud of you!

  • Erik on 04.12.2009 at 2:52 pm

    Miracle on Ice #2

    Thanks for the great season and thanks for last night’s heart attack!

  • Achmad on 04.12.2009 at 4:25 pm

    Bravo BU Hockey Team!

    This is an extremely amazing victory for BU. That was almost a miracle to win the national championship the way you did. So breath-taking, guys! Kudo to you all!

  • Ken H on 04.12.2009 at 8:22 pm

    Great GAME!!

    I haven’t had this much fun and EXCITEMENT since the days of Mike Eurizione, Dave Silk and the others. Living at West Campus, going to the Beanpot games, was the sports highlight of my years at BU (not to mention the Crew Team with Hugh Foley)

    CAS (aka CLA) 75

    • Erik F on 06.06.2016 at 10:56 am

      I am Hugh Foley’s son. My wife and kids and I live in State College, PA. Would love to chat sometime about my dad. He and my mom live in Eugene, OR and he has Parkinson’s disease. He has had it for 10+ years and it has really taken a toll. Anyway, would love to connect sometime.

  • sal squeglia on 04.12.2009 at 8:50 pm

    Unfortunately for Miami, they scored their third goal. With the score 3-1, they seemed to think that they could play defense hockey for the final three minutes. Not against this BU team. Great poise, great teamwork, great coaching. Simply the greatest comeback in NCAA championship history. Thanks BU from a very proud alumnus.

  • Greg Hooker on 04.12.2009 at 9:10 pm

    hockey title

    Class of ’73 here, College of Communications, and so very happy for the team and school with this amazing victory. I have such fond memories of BU hockey when I was a student , and am proud to be a BU alum. Congratulations to Coach Parker and all the players!

  • Anonymous on 04.13.2009 at 8:46 am

    Unbelieveable!!!!!!!! My


    My friend Doug M (BC fan) has been living in pain since Saturday night!!!!!!


  • Lane Floyd on 04.13.2009 at 8:46 am


    Congratulations on an amazing season. Your performances in both National Championship game and the semi-final against Vermont showed your determination and performance have solidified you all as one of the best teams in NCAA history. Those were two of the best games I have ever seen in my life!!

    It was a great day for BU and you all have made this alumni very proud.

    Congratulations once again!!

  • Anonymous on 04.13.2009 at 9:07 am

    It's never over . . .

    until it’s over!!! CONGRATULATIONS, TERRIERS – on staying focused until the “better” end!

  • Anonymous on 04.13.2009 at 9:07 am

    Props to BU Men’s Hockey! I had switched the channel at 1-3. When I checked back, it was 2-3. I fell out of my chair when the tying goal went in.

  • CHAMPS on 04.13.2009 at 9:40 am

    Error in this story

    Miami didn’t tie the game at 1 within a minute of Connolly’s goal. The tying goal wasn’t even in the same period as Connolly’s tally.


  • Anonymous on 04.13.2009 at 10:00 am

    Pretty great to see that win. I thought BU really sat down in the second period. Good to see they decided to show up with 1 minute left in the third!

  • Anonymous on 04.13.2009 at 10:24 am


    Completely incredible. I never lost faith. I never took my eyes off the screen. I can’t think of a better way to end my first year as a Terrier.

  • Anonymous on 04.13.2009 at 10:47 am


    one for the ages…congratulations to a terrific team that truly made sports history.

  • Anonymous on 04.13.2009 at 10:53 am

    Nor regular hockey fan

    We certainly enjoyed watching the last 2 games. They were very fun and exciting.
    Congratulations for great wins, season and comeback!

  • JMAN on 04.13.2009 at 11:22 am

    We're The Best

    Just a truly unbelievable weekend in DC. Congratulations to the entire team, the university and to US..the fans! As we proved in DC, we are simply the best college hockey fans around.

    Join us to talk all things BU Hockey:


  • Anonymous on 04.13.2009 at 11:30 am

    Proud Alumni Class of 77

    As a proud Boston University Alumni and the CLA Class of 77. I had the privilege and honor to attend one of the finest institutions in the Boston area. Always proud to be a Terrier, my congratulations to Coach Parker and his team for bringing the national championship back to BU!

  • Anonymous on 04.13.2009 at 8:52 pm


    I glad that the Terriers pulled it off this year. It definitely makes up for that heart wrenching final that I watched at the George Sherman Union back in 1997.

  • Anonymous on 04.16.2009 at 10:54 am

    Great Game

    I followed BU all through the playoffs the multiple time i was in Boston and rooted for them all the way, this is was by far the best college game I have ever seen live! kinda makes me glad

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