Wilson Does It Again
Adds Another Big Goal for Pittsburgh-Bound River Hawks
by Scott McLaughlin/Senior Writer
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MANCHESTER, N.H. As the second period of Saturday's Northeast regional final wore on, it started to feel like a first-goal-wins type of game. The question became who would step up and play the role of hero.
Not so surprisingly, it was Scott Wilson. Throughout the second half, the sophomore winger has not only been one of the River Hawks' top scorers, but he's been their go-to scorer. During a five-day stretch in late February, he opened the scoring in three straight games against Boston University and Boston College, all wins. On the final night of the regular season, he had a goal and an assist to help Lowell clinch its first regular-season title.
In Lowell's first playoff game, Wilson scored twice against Maine. In the Hockey East semifinals, he scored what proved to be the game-winner with 7:30 left in the game. In the championship, he assisted on the game's only goal. And then on Saturday, he scored on a second effort late in the second period, and the goal held up as the one that would send the River Hawks to their first Frozen Four.
"He's just a big-time player," said senior captain Riley Wetmore. "He just works hard. He'll never really get frustrated. Obviously him finishing that goal with a minute left in the period was huge for us. It was a huge momentum swing for us. We brought that into the third period."
Wilson came into this season with high expectations after a 38-point freshman campaign that earned him Hockey East Rookie of the Year honors, but things didn't start off the way he had hoped. The entire team struggled out of the gate, and Wilson was front and center as he opened the year with just one point in the first eight games.
But then he posted four points in a blowout win over Massachusetts, and he's been rolling ever since. Wilson has averaged better than a point per game since mid-November, and now he heads to Pittsburgh with 10 points in Lowell's last seven games.
"The beginning of the year, obviously I didn't put up the points I wanted, but I thought I was still playing pretty hard," Wilson said. "I just wasn't finishing. I had the chances. My dad always says that when you're not getting chances, that's when you should be worried. I just had to battle it out. Then the team started playing amazing, so that made it a lot easier, too."
During his stellar rookie season, Wilson had the benefit of playing with Wetmore and Derek Arnold on one of the best lines in Hockey East. This year, though, coach Norm Bazin was forced to try all different kinds of lines to get the offense going. In the second half, Wilson wound up settling on a line with freshman Michael Fallon at center and either sophomore Terrence Wallin or freshman Adam Chapie on right wing.
Wilson has certainly been the leader on that line as far as production, but he's also emerged as a leader by example for the younger guys he's been playing with. That's a role Wilson admits he's had to grow into.
"My freshman year, I wasn't mature at all," Wilson said. "I think this year I've just matured as a person and a player. I've really been working on being a leader to these guys. They've made it really easy on me, too. Chapie and Fallon have been playing great all year."
As a Penguins draft pick, Wilson spent a week in Pittsburgh over the summer at rookie camp. Now he returns as the leading goal-scorer on a Lowell team looking to win its first national championship.