BU's Megan Continues Breakout Season in Beanpot Win
by Scott McLaughlin/CHN Writer
BOSTON Wade Megan has been scoring big goals all season for Boston University, and on Monday night he got a chance to showcase that on the biggest stage the Terriers have played on this year. Megan scored two goals, including the eventual game-winner, in BU's 3-1 win over Harvard in the first round of the 60th annual Beanpot Tournament.
Megan's first goal came on a power play 7 minutes, 30 seconds into the second period. Linemate Sahir Gill tried passing to Sean Escobedo in the slot; but Escobedo barely got a piece of the puck, and it slid toward the right post, where Megan poked it through Harvard goaltender Steve Michalek's five-hole.
The goal was Megan's team-leading eighth power-play tally, and it wound up being his fourth game-winner — also tops on the Terriers. Megan has become an integral part of a BU power play that has been dominant since the start of December and now ranks fifth in the nation.
"He's not afraid to go in front of the net and bang home greasy goals," said BU captain Chris Connolly. "Somebody's got to do that. I think that's the key to a good power play and the reason why we've been pretty successful as of late. You don't see a lot of pretty goals on the power play. Wade stands in that crease area and isn't afraid to get his nose dirty, and he's obviously been rewarded with a lot of time out there."
The power play isn't the only place Megan has been making a difference, though. He has bounced around each of the Terriers' top three lines, and has produced on all of them. He started the season on the third line with freshmen Cason Hohmann and Evan Rodrigues and stayed there for most of the first semester.
Then, late in the semester, Matt Nieto missed two games with an injury and Megan got bumped up to the second line. He made the most of it, as he scored the first BU goal in a 2-1 win at New Hampshire.
"Before break, I remember thinking to myself that when we get everybody healthy, I'd probably have to put Wade Megan back on the third line," said BU coach Jack Parker. "And he didn't deserve to be there because he was playing so well."
But then Corey Trivino got dismissed from the team and Charlie Coyle bolted for major junior. As a result, Megan found himself getting elevated to the top line instead of dropped back to the third line.
The Terriers needed Megan — along with every other forward — to step up and produce even more than he had during a breakout first semester, and he has. Megan notched five goals and four assists in BU's first six games of the second half.
"I think his confidence has obviously risen a lot," Connolly said. "He's had an opportunity to step up and play a bigger role this year, and he's turned into the player we were hoping he was going to. Especially with a couple departures, we were needing guys to step up and fill some offensive roles, and Wade's been able to do that. He's scoring consistently, and we need him to keep doing that."
Following a disappointing sweep at the hands of Maine two weekends ago, Parker dropped Megan to the second line and moved Nieto up to the top unit, a swap he said he made in an attempt to get Nieto going.
Megan, who had just 13 goals in his first two seasons combined, didn't find the score sheet in his first game alongside Gill and Hohmann — a win at Merrimack on Friday — but any concerns over how that trio would perform were erased with Megan's two goals Monday night.
His second goal, an even-strength tally, was the product of an all-around great play by the whole line. Gill forced a turnover along the boards and made a nice pass to Megan in the corner. Megan then cut to the net at the same time Hohmann drove hard, forcing the Harvard defenseman to take Hohmann. That left an open lane for Megan, who flipped a backhander into the top corner for his team-leading 14th goal of the season.
Megan, who is also part of the Terriers' penalty-kill rotation, said after the game that it doesn't matter what line he's on, and that he just tries to play the same way every game.
"I try to play a physical game, work in the corners and be a power forward," Megan said. "I guess that's applicable to all three lines. I just try to play hard and physical and go to the net, do the little things right. I think that's a big part of my success."