Boston -- There's no denying that Jordan Greenway is growing up before everyone's eyes. The freshman's power play goal in overtime lifted Boston University to a 2-1 victory over UMass Lowell in a crucial Hockey East game at Agganis Arena on Friday night.
Greenway set up shop just above the crease and tipped Matt Grzelcyk's point shot past UMass Lowell goaltender Kevin Boyle just 29 seconds into the extra session.
"The puck got to the point. I was alone in front. [Grzelcyk] got the puck to the net and I got my stick there to deflect it," said Greenway. "It was a good goal, pretty exciting."
A wild celebration ensued, but BU had to wait for an official review by the referees to make sure the puck was not batted in by a high stick. "I was just hoping it wasn't," Greenway chuckled.
It wasn't the first big goal Greenway has scored this season. A native of Canton, NY, his first career tally was a game-tying goal with 3:55 left in regulation against Cornell at Madison Square Garden back in November.
"Both were pretty big, needed goals, but I guess the league game was probably more important," said Greenway.
It's not as if this continued progression should come as a surprise to anyone. A second round draft pick of the Minnesota Wild in this past summer's NHL Draft, Greenway came to Commonwealth Avenue as a true freshman. He'll turn 19 on Tuesday, but his coach joked about his physical maturity well beyond his years.
"He's growing up. People look at him and think he's 30 years-old, but he's an 18 year-old kid," said BU coach David Quinn.
Measuring in at 6-5 and 230, it certainly is hard to believe you're watching an 18 year-old on the ice. His physical presence is intimidating, and as long as he can keep it in check, he's a huge asset for the Terriers. Bigger players sometimes take longer to develop, and there was certainly an adjustment period, but he's clicking now with the help of some pushing from Quinn and the rest of the coaching staff.
"Coach has been on me in practice and in the games. Skating and getting pucks to the net, I have more of a shooting mentality. I'm just kind of taking it all in and incorporating it into the game. It's been working out for me so far," said Greenway.
Greenway had just two assists and had an even plus/minus through his first 13 collegiate games, but has five goals and 11 assists over the last 16 games while going +16.
"College hockey is hard. He has a lot of ability. He's growing up and he's been immense these last two months," Quin said.
The US National Team Development Program (USNTDP) alum credited a switch to his current line before the second Vermont game as a major reason for his increased success.
"Playing with Ahti [Oksanen] and [Matt] Lane, it has really helped me out a lot. Obviously, two seniors who are great players. They have a lot of experience and they have helped me out a lot along the way," explained Greenway.
Greenway and his teammates have a chance to put UMass Lowell in their rearview with a win Saturday at the Tsongas Center with two games in hand.
"We really want to get a sweep this weekend," Greenway said.