BOSTON (TheBlaze/AP) — He had it in the palm of his hand and then, suddenly, he didn't.
Boston University goalie Matt O'Connor gave up a tying own goal in the third period, then Brandon Tanev scored with 6:17 left and Providence beat the Terriers 4-3 on Saturday night for its first NCAA hockey title.
It was the third straight year that the NCAA has crowned a first-time champion in hockey.
"It's in!" the announcer shouted in disbelief after O'Connor's error. "Oh my god!"
Watch O'Connor's heartbreaking mistake below:
BU was seeking its sixth championship in a virtual home game when O'Connor easily gloved a puck that was lofted in by Tom Parisi from the red line. But he then lost track of the puck, dropping it and allowing it to fall underneath him. He slid backward to protect the net and wound up knocking it in with 8:36 to play.
Tanev scored off a faceoff to give the Friars the lead, and Jon Gillies helped protect it with a diving save against Nick Roberto in the final minutes. Gillies, selected the Most Outstanding Player of the Frozen Four, stopped 49 saves for PC (26-13-2).
Anthony Florentino and Mark Jankowski also scored for the Friars, who were the last school to be given an at-large berth in 16-team NCAA Tournament.
Following the loss, O'Connor faced some criticism but many people online sent notes of encouragement to the goalie.
"He's exactly what u want in a student-athlete...and we wouldn't be here w/out him." - @TerrierHockey Coach David Quinn on Matt O'Connor— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) April 12, 2015
To Matt O'Connor: This doesn't define you. Keep your head up. Be proud of your season.— Nick Petraglia (@NickPetraglia) April 12, 2015
Only a goalie truly knows how Matt O'Connor is feeling right now— Goalie Ways (@GoalieWays) April 12, 2015
Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter