Wade Megan won some bragging rights Saturday night at Agganis Arena.
Facing his hometown team captained by a childhood friend, the senior captain scored the 40th goal of his collegiate career in the No. 10 Boston University men’s hockey team’s 4–0 win over St. Lawrence University.
The Canton, N.Y., native tallied the game’s first goal against the Canton-based Saints (6–4–2), while BU held SLU captain Kyle Flanagan — also a Canton native — to a minus-3 rating and one shot on goal in a game that saw the Terriers (7–4, 5–3 Hockey East) outshoot the visitors, 47–21.
It was a full-circle sort of moment for Megan, who said he went to all of the Saints’ home games at Appleton Arena as a kid.
“It was weird,” Megan said of playing SLU all these years later. “It was a little strange. But it was a lot of fun … The rink is about a minute and a half from my house, so I grew up around [the Saints] and watching them play.”
As strong as Megan was Saturday, his former high school teammate, Flanagan, was much less so. Flanagan centers the Saints’ first line and entered the night as the nation’s leading point-getter, but a well-rounded Terrier defensive effort stifled him all night.
By all accounts, the Terriers said they did not do anything special to limit Flanagan and his offensive prowess.
“We were just aware,” said senior forward Ben Rosen, whose fourth line often matched up against Flanagan’s line. “Every time he was out there, we were talking to each other. ‘Hey’ — before a faceoff — ‘Hey, this guy is out there. This is their first line. Have a look, be defensive, be responsible.’”
Megan got the Terriers on the board early with a goal at 11:15 in the first. The first-line winger took the puck up the left side, faked a slap shot to deke around a Saint defenseman and beat SLU goalie Matt Weninger near side. The puck ricocheted out of the goal after hitting the back crossbar, but a replay confirmed the goal was good.
“I’m not sure where it went,” Megan said. “I just shot it up high and I didn’t think it went in to be honest with you. But the ref was right on the goal line and … he seemed like he saw it go in.”
Freshman forward Sam Kurker extended the BU lead to 2–0 at 18:54, right at the end of a period that featured BU outshooting the Saints 22–7. Junior forward Sahir Gill took the puck up the length of the ice on the left side before passing to Kurker, who put it through Weninger’s five-hole for his first collegiate goal.
“That was a big one,” said St. Lawrence Greg Carvel. “I thought finally for about a five-minute stretch we started to create some offense … Every goal at the end of a period always takes a little wind out of your sails, and it took away a little bit of momentum that we thought we had going.”
Rosen added an insurance tally at 13:05 in the third. Sophomore defenseman Alexx Privitera’s slap shot from the blue line bounced off Weninger’s chest, allowing Rosen to skate in and poke the rebound by the netminder to finish the job.
Junior forward Matt Nieto took a pass at center ice from classmate Garrett Noonan and carried it up the left wing at 19:21.1 in the third. He beat Weninger to account for the 4–0 final.
“I have been working hard, so hopefully that goal tonight strings a streak together and I can get going,” Nieto said.
Freshman goaltender Sean Maguire — making his first start at Agganis — made 21 saves to post the shutout, the first BU has gotten all season.
Parker said freshman Matt O’Connor would get at least one start in net during a home-and-home with No. 1 Boston College next weekend, but added he would not be surprised if the goalies played a game apiece.
“Sean played extremely well tonight,” Parker said. “We know we have two solid goaltenders … Matt set the bar pretty high and now Sean’s caught up to the bar.”
Despite the scoreboard, it wasn’t all pretty for the Terriers. They went 0–6 on the power play, running their streak of failed power-play chances to 17. The streak dates back to the second period of the Nov. 16 game against the University of Vermont.
Parker said he was not worried about the team’s man-advantage — the chances BU got Saturday even represented an improvement — but Megan noted the need for improvement.
“It hasn’t come along for us, and it is a bit frustrating at times, but we have got the skill on this team that that is something that is going to work itself out,” Megan said.
“We try not to get too hung up on it because eventually it is going to come together,” Megan continued. “It is going to start clicking for us, and when it does we are going to be that much more dangerous. So we are going to wait for that.”