BOSTON — Boston University captain Wade Megan grew up in Canton, N.Y., going to just about every St. Lawrence home game. Tonight, he faced his childhood favorites for the first time — including captain Kyle Flanagan, another Canton native and a good friend — and Megan responded with the game-winning goal.
“The rink’s about a minute and a half from my house, so I grew up around those guys, watching them play,” Megan said. “It was a little strange, but a lot of fun.”
No. 10 BU dominated a tired St. Lawrence team, outshooting the Saints by, 47-21, while blanking them, 4-0, in front of 4,481 fans at Agganis Arena. Freshman Sean Maguire picked up his first collegiate shutout, and freshman Sam Kurker scored his first collegiate goal. Goaltender Matt Weninger was the standout for the visitors with 43 saves.
“In general, I thought we were on top of our game from the opening faceoff,” BU coach Jack Parker said. “We had a two-fold advantage playing St. Lawrence tonight. The first advantage was that they had to play last night and we didn’t. The second advantage was that they played at Northeastern last night, so a lot of our guys went over and watched the game, and they saw how good they were. That more than anything got our guys ready to play. We really elevated our game tonight.”
“Little frustrating that we looked like a real tired team tonight,” St. Lawrence coach Greg Carvel said. “We thought we were set up pretty well to play after last night when we played really well — the way that we want to play. Just frustrating that we couldn’t find the energy to play our game tonight.”
The Saints looked fine for the first couple of minutes, but after that, BU dominated with a 17-shot period. Cason Hohmann almost set up a BU goal in the first five minutes, stickhandling through the zone before passing it toward the goalmouth, but Yasin Cissé couldn’t get good wood on it.
After Evan Rodrigues’s great pass almost set up a Garrett Noonan goal at 9:00, Megan got his goal at 11:15. Coming in on the left wing, he faked a slap shot before firing a hard wrister that clanged off of something before landing in the crease. Video review confirmed it.
“I just shot it up high,” Megan said. “I didn’t think it would be in to be honest with you. But the ref was right on the goal line and saw it go in.”
BU had several more great bids in a 22-shot second period, none better than Matt Lane’s point-blank shot with Weninger down. However, Lane shot it into the goalie’s outstretched arm.
Maguire made his best save of the night at 12:40 of the second when he made a pad save on a short-range shot following a BU turnover coming out of the zone. This marked the beginning of the Saints’ best stretch of the night until BU scored with just 1:06 left in the period. On a two-on-one break, Sahir Gill carried the puck up the left wing and got the defenseman to go down before slipping it to Kurker on his right wing. The freshman shot against the grain and buried it low toward the far post.
“That was a big one because for about a five-minute stretch, I thought finally we were starting to create some offense,” Carvel said.
The third period featured far fewer BU shots, but the Terriers scored twice regardless. At 13:05, Ryan Ruikka took a shot from the point. Weninger blocked it, but the puck went straight up in the air. When it landed, Ben Rosen jammed it in.
Matt Nieto finished the scoring with 31.9 seconds left. On an innocuous-looking rush up the left wing, he beat Weninger with a short-side wrist shot, the one soft goal of the night for the netminder.
Maguire wasn’t tested severely in the BU goal, but he did make three or four great saves. Most importantly, he looked poised and confident. BU had hoped to have a goaltending platoon with its two freshmen, and that now seems to be materializing.
“We thought we had two good ones coming in,” Parker said. “Matt set the bar pretty high, and now Sean’s caught up with the bar.”
BU (7-4) plays a home-and-home series against arch-rival Boston College next weekend, while St. Lawrence (6-4-2) plays at Colgate and Cornell.