At the beginning of the evening, senior forward Mike Moran was on the line chart as the third-line left wing.
He had spent nearly every minute of the previous 28 games as the No. 7 Boston University men’s hockey team’s fourth-line center, and the majority of Friday night’s 2-1 overtime win against No. 11 University of Massachusetts Lowell ended up being no different.
After BU head coach David Quinn nixed his offensive shakeup early in the first period, Moran was back in the middle between sophomore and junior forwards Chase Phelps and Tommy Kelley.
It was there, in his typical role, that he received a lead pass at the attacking zone blue line from freshman defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who was stationed in the Terriers’ (17-8-4, 10-4-3 Hockey East) own end. Moran took it all the way to the net, wristing the puck between the legs of netminder Kevin Boyle as he tried to get a pad on the shot.
“He works hard, he’s got a great shot,” Quinn said of Moran. “He really does … Charlie makes a great pass and finds Mike, and Mike does a great job burying it.”
It was a nice goal, and Moran’s second in three games, but the senior isn’t renown for his scoring ability, with 13 goals and 22 total points in 132 career games. However the Terriers are 3-0-0 when he scores this season, and all time, BU’s record when Moran registers a goal is 8-3-2.
In addition, it was the second notable breakaway goal of his collegiate career. The previous came almost exactly a year ago during the Beanpot Tournament final on Feb. 23, 2015 in the form of the game-opening goal 2:19 into the first period. Moran took advantage of a Northeastern University turnover at the BU blue line and streaked down the right wing side with the puck, flicking it past goaltender Clay Witt’s blocker in the slot for the tally.
Still, while he’s scored important goals in his tenure, he’s not necessarily put on the ice with the expected result being putting the puck in the back of the net.
Since he first suited up for BU three-and-a-half years ago, his lot on the team hasn’t changed all that much. As a perennial bottom-six forward, Moran is tasked with generating energy and has a regular spot on the penalty kill. On Friday against the River Hawks (17-7-5, 10-5-4 Hockey East), he was part of holding Lowell scoreless with the man advantage.
“Just helping the team as much as I can,” he said.
The nephew of Mike and the late Mark Bavis, who both played for the Terriers from 1989-1993, Moran has been attending BU games basically since his infancy. And as his senior season stretches into the final months, Moran said he’s probably thinking about that fact a little more lately when he comes to the rink.
“I mean I can’t believe it’s winding down,” he said.
“I’ve been coming to BU since I was one, watching games, watching my uncles play, so yeah it’s definitely surreal that it’s coming to an end,” Moran added. “But hopefully we got a pretty solid team here this year, and we can do something special if we keep playing the way we’re playing.”