BOSTON — In his first two years as a Boston University Terriers player, Wade Megan totaled 13 goals and had seasons of 12 and 13 points. Good but not great. The potential for more lurked but hadn’t yet been realized.
It wasn’t at the level of that old saw about potential — kid, it means you ain’t done nothin’ yet. Megan had been a valued contributor. But if BU was going to go places this year, players like Megan were going to have to become bigger pieces of the puzzle.
Semifinals, Feb. 6
The operative word is no longer potential; it’s production.
“His confidence has obviously risen a lot,” BU captain Chris Connolly said. “He’s had the opportunity to step up and play a bigger role this year and he’s turned into the player we were hoping he was going to be.”
This need became more pronounced over the holiday break when BU lost two of its top-scoring forwards. Corey Trivino was dismissed from the team and Charlie Coyle left to play major junior hockey.
“We were needing guys to step up and fill some offensive roles,” Connolly said. “Wade’s been able to do that. He’s scoring consistently and we need him to keep doing that. He’s playing real well.”
Megan credits hard work during the offseason as a major factor in his emergence this year.
“I just tried to do what I could in the offseason,” he said. “That’s where you can make up a lot of ground. That needs to be time well spent.
“I’d like to think I took advantage of that time getting stronger and faster. I think that’s helped me this year.”
Following time-honored tradition, Megan also credited his linemates even though he’s played on everything from the first to third lines and with almost every forward as a linemate. Currently, he anchors the left wing spot on the second line with Sahir Gill and Cason Hohmann.
“I like playing a first- or second-line role and I love playing a third- or fourth-line role as well,” he said. “I just try to play physical. That’s a big part of the game. If you can play physical you can fit in pretty much on any line.”
Of course, this season hasn’t been all highlights. After getting off to a good start with goals in two of the first three games, he then went scoreless for five. He didn’t, however, let that dry spell feed on itself with mental doubts.
“You can’t let that stuff creep in because once you start thinking about it too much, it messes with your head even more,” he said. “You just have to keep playing hard.
“I knew the goals would come and the points would come. Luckily, they have. You just have to bury your head and maybe shoot the puck a little more when you’re going through a drought like that. Eventually, they’ll go in.”
And they have.
As have many of his teammates, Megan has risen to the challenge of filling the voids left behind by Trivino and Coyle.
“Most of guys on our team have stepped up,” Megan said. “That’s one of the reasons we’ve been successful. We all came together and said that we needed to hold each other accountable. We needed to step up and play well and we’ve been able to do that.”
One particular role in which Megan has excelled is on the man advantage. His eight power-play goals places him behind only Maine’s Mark Anthoine in Hockey East.
“He’s not afraid to go in front of the net and bang home some greasy goals,” Connolly said. “Somebody’s got to do that. That’s the key to a good power play and the reason why we’ve been pretty successful as of late.
“You don’t see a lot of pretty goals on the power play. They come few and far between. Wade stands in that crease area and isn’t afraid to get his nose dirty so that makes him successful.
“Obviously, he’s been rewarded with a lot of time out there.”
Megan said he considers his physical “power forward” style to be ideal for the power play.
“Most goals in this league come at the net so if you can go to the net and be a physical presence at the front of the net, you’re going to get your chances,” he said. “So that’s where I camp out.
“Luckily for me this year, they’ve been going in for me. I’ve just got to keep generating those chances.”
If he does, that’ll be one more reason to consider BU the favorite to win another Beanpot title next Monday and maybe a title or two after that.
“We’ve all got one goal in our head, that’s for sure, just like every college hockey team,” Megan said. “But for now, we just want more of the same.
“We’ve been playing good hockey. We’ve come together as a hockey team. We just need to keep it rolling.”