For as long as there has been college hockey, there have been moments that can only be described as exhilarating or incredible if your team’s on the winning end, heartbreaking or devastating if your team’s on the losing end.
Boston College, Wisconsin, Miami of Ohio and the Rochester Institute of Technology hope to experience the thrill of victory in Detroit at this year’s Frozen Four.
With the games a week away, it’s time to take a look at the top 10 moments in Frozen Four history.
Wisconsin ties Cornell in final seconds
Wisconsin trailed Cornell 5-2 with less than 11 minutes to go in the 1973 semifinals at the old Boston Garden. After the Badgers cut the lead to 5-4 with 3:11 left, Dean Talafous tied the game with just five seconds remaining. Wisconsin went on to win the game 6-5 in overtime and then beat Denver two nights later to win its first national championship.
Denver survives Maine’s 6-on-3
Denver led the 2004 title game at the FleetCenter 1-0 late in the third, but a pair of penalties gave Maine a golden opportunity to tie the game. Maine coach Tim Whitehead pulled his goalie to give the Black Bears a 6-on-3 for 1:18 with less than two minutes left in the game. Maine opened fire, but senior goalie Adam Berkhoel made one save after another — and got some help from the post on one shot — to secure Denver’s first championship in 35 years.
Justin Abdelkader beats BC with late goal
With the 2007 final tied 1-1 in the final minute, Michigan State’s Justin Abdelkader took a pass in the slot and banged it past Boston College goalie Cory Schneider with just 18.9 seconds remaining to give the Spartans their first title in 21 years. It’s the latest go-ahead goal in championship-game history, and it marked the second straight year the Eagles had to settle for the runner-up spot.
(Goal at 2:10)
Maine downs rival UNH in overtime
New Hampshire is notorious for its postseason disappointments, but nothing was more devastating for Wildcats fans than their team’s overtime loss to archrival Maine in the 1999 national championship. Marcus Gustafsson ended UNH’s hopes for its first title when he buried a rebound 10:50 into overtime to give the Black Bears their second championship in seven years.
Krys Kolanos lifts BC over North Dakota
After falling in the title game in two of the previous three seasons, Boston College finally broke through in 2001 to win its first national championship in 52 years. Krys Kolanos netted the game-winner 4:43 into overtime when he raced by two Fighting Sioux defenders and then slid the puck past goalie Karl Goehring while flying through the air.
Harvard shocks Minnesota
After losing in the championship game twice in the previous six seasons, the Crimson finally won their first title in 1989 by beating Minnesota in overtime in front of a partisan St. Paul crowd. Ed Krayer beat 1988 Hobey Baker Award winner Robb Stauber 4:15 into overtime to give Harvard the 4-3 win.
Jim Montgomery’s natural hat trick
Maine was an incredible 41-1-2 entering the 1993 national title game, but the Black Bears found themselves trailing Lake Superior State 4-2 heading into the third period. That’s when Jim Montgomery exploded for three goals in a span of 4:35 (with Hobey Baker winner Paul Kariya assisting on all three) to give Maine a 5-4 lead. The Black Bears hung on for their first championship.
(Comeback starts at 1:40)
Northern Michigan tops BU in wild affair
Neither Northern Michigan nor Boston University had any problem scoring in regulation in the 1991 championship game, as they entered overtime tied 7-7. But then no one scored again until Darryl Plandowski gave the Wildcats their first national title when he took a pass in the slot and beat BU goalie Scott Cashman in the third overtime.
Bowling Green wins longest title game
Gino Cavallini‘s goal celebration says it all. After beating Minnesota-Duluth goalie Rick Kosti with a backhander 7:11 into the fourth overtime, Cavallini simply collapsed to the ice in the corner before being piled on top of by his teammates. The national championship was the first for both Bowling Green and then-head coach, Jerry York.
(Goal at 1:10)
BU’s last-minute comeback
After Miami (Ohio) took what appeared to be a commanding 3-1 lead with just 4:08 remaining in the 2009 title game, Boston University set off some last-minute fireworks. Zach Cohen cut the lead to one with 59.5 seconds left, and then a beautiful deke and pass by Hobey Baker winner Matt Gilroy set up Nick Bonino‘s tying goal with just 17.4 seconds to go. The Terriers went on to win in overtime when Colby Cohen‘s partially blocked slapper fluttered over goalie Cody Reichard‘s shoulder.
(Comeback starts at 2:50)