Monday, November 30, 2015

Greenway Finally Lights the Lamp

As a hockey player, BU freshman Jordan Greenway screams potential. The 6'5" power forward was scooped up by the Minnesota Wild with the 50th pick last spring, and he may not make it to his junior year on Commonwealth Avenue before he takes his inevitable spot in The Show. Of the five BU games I've seen this year, he has been impossible to miss with his lengthy possessions down along the attacking goal line, fending off defensemen and angling toward the net. Scouts more often than not volunteer that he is the most impressive player on the ice. Yet heading into Saturday's game against Cornell at Madison Square Garden, he had yet to score single collegiate goal. Oh-for-thirteen. Oh...

Two hours before puck drop he was walking briskly eastbound on West 33rd street in Manhattan, a guy who resembled a member of the NBA New York Knicks, except that he was carrying two extra long hockey sticks. Five minutes later he had circled back and was in the employees entrance of Madison Square Garden, heading for the elevator and his BU locker room. I told him that I had missed the Bentley game, and asked him if he had scored yet. He said no, but smiled, and agreed that tonight was the night, here in the world's most famous arena. It was a great story line. We diverged as the 18 year old took the elevator to the fifth floor while I curled around the corridors to walk up the elephant ramp.

True to his word, Greenway nailed home his inaugural goal, from the top of the crease, and got flattened for his efforts. It was the tying goal, late in the contest, and was a big factor in BU capturing the Red Hot Hockey championship trophy.

Somewhere around midnight he told Judy Cohen of BU's student paper "Just getting my first goal here, get the monkey off my back, a moment of relief. I just really wanted to help my team get the victory." It's fitting that this elite pro prospect scored his first NCAA goal in an NHL building, in exactly the style that the Minnesota Wild expect from him: a three-foot rebound from the dirtiest spot on the ice. There are certain to be a lot more where that came from.

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