It didn't quite last long enough to be the Easter Epic II, but it sure was one of the most memorable games played at Verizon Center.
Less than 60 seconds away from claiming the first championship of any kind in school history, Miami University found out why Boston University was the No. 1 team nation heading into the tournament in a hurry.
The Terriers erased a two-goal deficit in the final :59.5 of regulation to force overtime, and then claimed the national title with a goal 11:47 into the extra frame on a floater by Colby Cohen that eluded RedHawks netminder Cody Reichard and left the Miami fans in that corner stunned by the developments.
Heading into the contest, Boston University was a heavy favorite, having lost just once since January 13th, and playing a team that was one of the last at-large bids for the 16-team field. BU survived a scare from Hockey East rival Vermont, while Miami had little trouble dispatching a fellow Cinderella from Bemidji State. But having rolled over some of Miami's CCHA bretheren this season, there was the thought that the RedHawks would have trouble controlling the Terriers.
It looked even more ominous when BU jumped on top with 4:45 left in the first, as Chris Connolly buried a rebound past Reichard to quell what had been a decent start for Miami.
However, the RedHawks slowed the BU attack, and pulled even just 2:01 into the second, as Gary Steffes corralled a shot that went off a defender and past Keiran Millan to even the score. While the Terriers have several players with an NHL pedigree, they could only manage seven shots against the RedHawks in what became a cautious contest. The Terriers also kept playing with fire by taking seven minor penalties, a fact that didn't please BU coach Jack Parker.
"We took stupid penalties, penalty killers bailed those guys out and some of those guys were guys that killed penalties, too," Parker said afterwards. "I don't think it was anything technical they played a little bit harder and played a little bit smarter, and the effort was there for sure. I thought that our power play, the first one we had we had all kinds of chances and we went 0 for 2 and we're going to get all set here and didn't get any others after that."
However, Miami got a chance to author one of the biggest upsets in NCAA hockey history with a burst in the third period to break the stalemate. Tommy Weingels pounced on a Carter Campel shot that Millan couldn't handle to put the RedHawks on top with just 7:29 to play in regulation, leading to a wild celebration as they sensed a David vs. Goliath type upset.
It seemed even more of a done deal when Trent Vogelhuber took advantage of a pressing Terrier defense and took a Brian Kaufman drop pass and buried it for a 3-1 lead with just 4:08 to play and it seemingly was over for the nation's top-ranked squad.
BU pulled the goalie with 3:38 left to play but couldn't convert on some good chances, and the Terriers couldn't corral some loose pucks to pull within one before they had to put their goalie back in.
However, the RedHawks started to go back into a deep shell, and the Terriers made the RedHawks pay with a wild comeback for the ages.
As the clock ran inside the final minute, Zach Cohen was able to jam a puck past Reichard to give BU some new life with just :59.5 left to play on the clock, and within one, the Terriers smelled blood.
After the ensuing faceoff, the RedHawks again were outclassed in their own end and paid the price, as Chris Higgins fed Nick Bonino with a pass across the slot, and he squared the game with just seventeen ticks left on the clock.
"I just got the puck out of the corner of my eye," Higgins said. "I saw Nick sitting wide open. He put the puck on Nicky's stick and put it away. 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."
Indeed, with their hopes of a national title dashed in less than 60 seconds, the RedHawks struggled to generate chances in overtime, putting just four shots on net before Cohen's shot was deflected and fluttered in to end the RedHawks' upset chances in slow motion.
Boston University pulled one out of the fire for its fifth national title, the last coming 14 years ago when ex-Cap Mike Grier and the Terriers beat Maine for the title.
On the other bench, Miami coach Enrico Blasi could only wonder about the opportunity lost in less than a minute, although the RedHawks got a lot further than anyone expected, being just the second No. 4 seed to reach the title game.
"It's going to sting for a while, but, like I said earlier, the accomplishments that we have garnered over the last few weeks, you know, we made history and hopefully we can continue that into the future."
In his 36 years of coaching college hockey, Parker thought it was one of the wildest games he'd ever seen.
"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. When we lost the '91 championship after being down by three goals, we came back, tied it up late in the third period, I mean real late, and went into triple overtime before we finally lost the game."
And quite a show for the fans at Verizon Center.