Wade Megan, a junior forward for the No. 16 Boston University men’s hockey team, walked into a post-game press conference following Saturday night’s 4-1 win over the University of New Hampshire clad in a pair of red workout shorts and a gray BU T-shirt.
He sipped from his water bottle as a reporter threw questions his way, smiling and laughing as he explained he had no idea how he scored his second-period goal.
“I’m not sure to be honest with you,” Megan said when asked if the puck snuck in between UNH (5-5-2, 4-4-1 Hockey East) goaltender Matt Di Girolamo’s arm and body. “I just kind of threw it on net and it trickled through. I’ll take it.”
Megan’s laid-back attitude was typical of his nature – last year, the New York native casually spearheaded a cancer fundraising initiative by the team (6-4-1, 5-3-1 Hockey East) after spotting a flyer for the fundraiser lying around his room – but while his demeanor is typically calm and steady, his production on the ice this season has increased sharply.
After notching a career-high eight goals last season, Megan is already three-quarters of the way to that total through just 11 games this season. His sixth goal of the year broke a 0-0 tie in the second period of Saturday night’s game.
It came off a chip from freshman forward Evan Rodrigues. Megan picked up the puck off the boards and carried it to the lower left circle before tossing it casually on net, where it bounced off of Di Girolamo and into the net.
“Well, [it was a] 0-0 game,” Megan said. “A lot of times, the first goal in the game like that is something like that, so I figured I’d get the puck on net, see if I could sneak one past like I did or maybe leave it there for a rebound, but I figured no shot is a bad shot in a game like that.”
Megan’s willingness to take shots, even from odd angles, has paid off for him as of late. Saturday’s tally was Megan’s fourth goal in the last three games. He scored two against then-No. 2 Boston College on Nov. 13, including a power play goal that he somehow squeezed between goalie Parker Milner’s shoulder and the post.
The 21-year-old’s recent offensive outburst comes after a five-game dry spell during which Megan failed to record any points. He started the season with two goals and an assist in the first three games. Megan’s early results impressed head coach Jack Parker, who praised the forward following a 4-3 win over then-No. 3 Denver.
“He’s started off great as a junior,” Parker said at the time. “He’s been up and down with his effort sometimes and up and down with his conditioning sometimes, and last year started to come into his own . . . He’s getting all kinds of ice time now. He’s really doing a good job.”
Slightly more than a month later, Parker was even more flowery in his praise for Megan.
“Well he’s been quite a scorer for us, there’s no question about that,” Parker said Saturday night.
“I think if you watch how hard he’s playing, he’s doing a good job retrieving pucks. He’s doing a good job on the power play.
“He’s doing a great job killing penalties for us, and he’s doing a real good job playing with two freshmen tonight [Rodrigues and Cason Hohmann]. That’s real good that he’s stepped up.”
Megan has been a fixture on the third line’s left wing through the first 11 games, but his value to the team extends behind his spot on the line chart. He plays on a top power play unit, joining senior forward Corey Trivino and senior captain Chris Connolly up front with sophomore forward Sahir Gill at the point, and he leads the team in power play tallies with three this season. Megan also leads the team with two game-winning goals and has continued to be a physical presence on the ice.
He struggled to pinpoint anything different about his game this season that caused his production to increase and instead attributed his success to an aspect of the game that will always bring a smile to Parker’s face: doing the little things right.
“My linemates have been playing really hard, and we had the mindset to just do the little things right, finish our checks, and play good defensively,” Megan said. “
Offense off of defense – I think that’s something we’ve done for the most part very well the whole season.
“As far as the goals, I don’t know. Throw it on the net and I got a couple lucky bounces, so I’ll take it.”