Ronan accomplishes high school dream, scores first goal as Terrier

By Andrew Battifarano/DFP Staff
Senior wing Matt Ronan scores his first career goal.
Photo by Michelle Jay/DFP Staff

The final buzzer sounded and the Boston University men’s hockey team shook hands at center ice with the No. 7 University of Massachusetts-Lowell, tying the River Hawks 2-2.

But for the Terriers (8-15-4, 3-8-3 Hockey East), there was still some anticipation on the Agganis Arena scoreboard, despite the final score staying as it was. The entire team stood under the video board, watching to see who would flash on the screen as part of the three stars of the game.

When the team saw senior forward Matt Ronan’s name pop up, both he and the Terriers beamed with excitement.

“Yeah three stars, too, I didn’t think I’d ever be one of those,” Ronan said after seeing his name as the No. 3 star. “That was pretty cool to be recognized as one of the top three players of the game, it’s a pretty exceptional experience.”

The Woburn native had always dreamed of playing with the BU — especially with his brother Dan donning the scarlet and white last decade — but had seen just limited action through his first three years with the Terriers. During those first three seasons, Ronan played in just a combined seven games, tallying just one point, an assist against Northeastern University last season.

This year for the Terriers — a team with a multitude of injuries on both ends of the ice — Ronan has seen more playing time, getting into 16 games thus far.

With his increased role on the ice this season, Ronan competed in the Beanpot for the first time.

“I think I’m beyond excited,” Ronan said before Monday’s loss to the Eagles. “I can’t believe I’m finally going to be able to play in one,”  “But yeah, it’s just — it’s a crazy time of year, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

The special week for Ronan did not end after his first appearance in the Beanpot, though. Friday night against Lowell, the senior fourth-liner did something he had never done before at the college level — score.

Heading into the second period, the Terriers were down 2-1 to the River Hawks, a problem that has plagued the team all season. In BU’s previous 10 games that it fell behind after one period, the Terriers had a 1-9-0 record, with those two points coming against Providence College all the way back on Nov. 1.

With the bottom line out for the Terriers early in the second frame, though, the momentum shifted and ended up helping give BU its first point from a game in which it trailed after one period in over three months.

Ronan started the play by flinging the puck into the left corner boards from the neutral zone, and  linemate, freshman Brendan Collier, gave chase and fought off a UML defenseman for possession.

Ronan did not sit back on the ice and watch the play unfold, instead taking the opportunity to skate toward the net, right down the middle of the slot.

The senior received a pass from the freshman and one-timed the puck into the top-right corner of the net, just over the reach of sophomore goaltender Connor Hellebuyck’s glove.

Ronan, who scored 15 goals during his final two seasons at Belmont Hill School, never imagined scoring with the Terriers with the way the last few years have gone.

“Honestly, I used to dream in high school when I was scoring goals, I’d have dreams that I’d be scoring,” Ronan said. “I don’t think I’ve had a goal in my dreams in the last four years.”

Coach David Quinn said he was more than thrilled to see Ronan get his first-ever mark in the goal column.

“For him to get a goal is, I’m sure pretty special for not only for him, but for everybody, and it was special for me to watch it,” Quinn said. “He’s a great kid, he does a lot of great things and it’s fun to see kids like that get rewarded.”

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