On April 11, 2015, the Providence College Friars made history against the Boston University Terriers at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. BU, the favorite to win, was upset late in the game on a fluke goal caused by their own goaltender, which would seal the game as Providence goalie John Gillies stood on his head.
BU was favored over Providence this year because of their impressive 19-0-0 regular season record and the leadership of their star player Jack Eichel. Eichel was also the recipient of the esteemed Hobey Baker award for the league’s best player. However, all of Eichel’s skill could not put his team on top as the clock ran out.
Boston lost the game because of an unfortunate bounce on their goaltender which changed the momentum of the game. According to SB Nation, “The Providence College Friars won their first hockey national championship in program history. Thanks to a gift from Boston University goalie Matt O’Connor and a late tally from Brandon Tanev, PC earned a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Terriers, who had previously been 19-0-0 on the season when leading after two periods.”
NCAA.com stated, “In the third period, Tom Parisi tied the game (11:24) while dumping the puck in the BU zone. Terrier netminder Matt O’Connor mishandled the puck and it crossed the line to tie the game 3-3.” This one play killed the spark that BU had going into the final period and eventually led to their downfall.
While the hearts of BU fans were devastated by the play, “two minutes later, Brandon Tanev netted the biggest goal in Providence history at 13:43 with the game winner when he beat his defender and connected on a wrist shot from the slot that went high past O’Connor,” according to NCAA.com.
In the final moments though, PC goalie John Gillies might have stolen the game from the Terriers. According to NCAA.com, “None of this would have happened without a sprawling save by Gillies in front of the net with 1:01 remaining. The play was so incredible that Gillies himself thought the puck was in the net. When he discovered it wasn’t, he dove and a shot by BU’s Cason Hohmann bounced off Gillies’ chest while he was down on the ice.”
“’I didn’t hear the horn,’ Gillies said. ‘I was looking for the puck because it wasn’t out of the zone. I just wanted to make it sure it didn’t … it didn’t go in. I didn’t even have time to get my helmet off before everyone was on top of me. There was an unbelievable feeling.’” Gillies’ save sealed the deal for the Friars and helped them secure their first ever national championship in team history.