April 10, 2009 PRINT Bookmark and Share

BU's 'Secret' Weapon: Higgins Ready to Roll

by Joseph Edwards/CHN Writer

Chris Higgins is the BU active leader in points for a career. (photo: Paige Ozaroski)

Chris Higgins is the BU active leader in points for a career. (photo: Paige Ozaroski)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Some would say Chris Higgins has a right to be a little disgruntled.

BU’s active career scoring leader at 132 points could be known for his incredible playmaking ability (witness his pass through the knee/over the leg of a Vermont defender to set up Jason Lawrence on Thursday night), his highlight-reel goals (his freshman-year tally against Harvard in the Beanpot is a goal of lore), or even his overall skill set that allows Jack Parker to deploy him in multiple situations.

But he’s not a household name like some of his high-profile teammates.

“He doesn't get much accolades because there's always been somebody else,” Parker said. “[John] McCarthy gets a few more points. [Colin] Wilson gets a few more points.”

Year in, year out, he’s been overshadowed by the likes of David Van Der Gulik, Brad Zancanaro, Pete MacArthur, John Curry, and this year, the likes of Wilson and Hobey Baker winner Matt Gilroy.

It could cause a chip on someone else’s shoulders, but not Higgins.

"I've had my fair share of individual glory," he laughed. "But my main goal is to win a championship. Playing team first is how you win. My first year, I learned from guys like Van Der Gulik, John Laliberte, and Zancanaro, they taught me how to be a team player.

A rash of injuries — a post-Beanpot concussion and a broken bone in the palm of his hand against Northeastern — stalled Higgins' effect on the team, and it was noticeable.

“He's had a hard time handling and shooting the puck,” Parker said. “He was having a great year in his senior year until that happened. And he went for about a month, month and a half of not playing up to his capabilities just because his stick was not useful to him anymore. And that's his game.”

His game has been on track this season; he's tied eleventh in the country in points (47), for fifth in assists (33), and has tied his personal-best with 14 goals, but the injuries made it hard on the senior from Lynnfield, Mass.

"That was tough to deal with," Higgins said. "I rely a lot on my playmaking skills, so it really put a damper on the things I could do."

He received a cortisone shot before Regionals, and while his hand my not be fully healed, he's at least pain free.

"It's really held up well," he said. "Being able to feel like myself again, it's given me a lot of confidence."

His coach has already seen the difference.

“He feels much better with a stick in his hand,” his coach said. “I think he's just coming back to feeling real comfortable, and I think that has given him a chance to start to excel again. I think anybody's that watched us year in, year out his four years here would remember him as being a terrific player.”

Back to 100 percent, it's a safe bet that Higgins' name is one known to Miami players and coaches, already know. Now, he'll have a chance tomorrow night to make sure everyone else in the country does.

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