Sometimes it’s not such a bad thing to be a two-timer.
In the Beanpot semifinal last Monday, senior right wing Jason Lawrence blasted a slapshot for the game-winning goal with 1:46 remaining against Harvard. Although it was perhaps overshadowed by the stunning pair of shorthanded goals later in the third period, Lawrence notched another game-winner in the final at 11:06 to help Boston University win yet another Beanpot.
This is not exactly a surprising development. Lawrence has a team-leading 14 goals in 27 games, and his 11 power-play goals trail only Jacques Lamoureux of Air Force nationally. Still, his two key goals in this Beanpot featured both a rule and its exception in terms of how the Saugus, Mass., native typically scores.
Of his 14 goals this season, probably about 10 of them were scored within five feet of the net. Lawrence has an uncanny instinct for when to break to a far post for a tap-in goal off a pass from one of his linemates, clever playmakers Colin Wilson and Chris Higgins. That was the case Monday, as Lawrence raced immediately for the far post when Higgins got the puck in the left-wing faceoff circle.
“I try to find space down low,” Lawrence said. “I like to think of myself as a player from the top of the circles down — create plays down low and cycle. Tonight Chris made a great pass. I’ve just been lucky to be down there and have guys find me going to the net.”
Last week’s game-winner was more atypical. With the TD Banknorth Garden crowd still abuzz over Harvard’s tying goal at 14:33, Lawrence unleashed a blistering slapshot from near the left-wing faceoff dot, and it blew by Harvard goalie Matt Hoyle high on the glove side.
“It was a little uncharacteristic,” Lawrence admitted. “My dad always yells me to take the high slapshot. Luckily I listened to him for once and put my head down, and it went in, so that was good.”
Remarkable for such a blast, Lawrence was actually aiming his shot. “I was sort of cheating a little bit. I was thinking glove side,” he said.
These two Mondays certainly made for a great swan song for the Terrier. “It’s great,” Lawrence said. “Any time you can score and help your team, it’s awesome. The fact that I had two game-winning goals is a credit to my linemates. They make great plays, and I was just lucky to be on the receiving end of that pass from Chris.
“Growing up in this area, you know the tradition and importance of the Beanpot. To be able to win it three of four years especially now as a senior, it’s something I’ve been striving for, and it’s great.”
As coach Jack Parker said on Friday night, any team that wins the Beanpot can say that it had a good year. That said, Lawrence readily agreed that it will be a disappointing season if the team doesn’t have a great finish in the form of additional hardware. Significantly, the team’s Beanpot celebration on the ice seemed a little restrained, as if they were well aware that there is much to accomplish before they can be considered among the better BU teams in the program’s history.
BU’s seniors have provided great leadership this season and are sure to remind their talented young players to keep things in perspective in the weeks to come.
“We’re going to celebrate this tonight, and we’re going back to work on Wednesday to get ready for Maine ,” Lawrence said. “We’ve still got work to do. … The only No. 1 ranking that matters is the one that comes in April.”
With the Frozen Four in Washington, D.C., this season, that would be a capital idea. Chances are we’ll be spotting Lawrence in a few more big-stage games before the year is out.