Matt Moulson is a dangerous goal-scorer.
When his opponents are short-handed, he’s downright frightening.
Moulson has haunted goalies throughout his hockey career on the power play. It seems like the Cornell University senior has a sixth sense when his team has a man-advantage.
“We have a pretty good power play. I have been working on that. One strength at Cornell has always been the power play,” he said. “[Teammate Topher] Scott is always putting the puck right on my tape on the power play. It’s not just me, my teammates are threats, too.”
However, it’s Moulson, Pittsburgh’s 2003 ninth-round pick (263rd overall), who is doing the most damage. He ranks fourth in the NCAA with 11 power-play goals.
“I guess that is a good stat for the new NHL,” he said with a laugh. “I have a lot of power-play goals and I’m 1-0 in shootouts this year. I have just been able to put in on the power play and play with great players who have been to find me when I am open.”
It’s no fluke. Of the Cornell University senior’s 67 career goals, 33 have come on the power play. In addition, Moulson, in his last year of junior hockey, set a Guelph Dominators team record with 28 power-play tallies.
Regardless, Moulson focuses on team goals more than individual accomplishments.
“Our main focus is to improve every weekend,” he said. “I think we’ve been doing that. We just need to keep working and get on a roll here.”
Moulson, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound forward is determined to lead the Big Red to a repeat of their 2005 Ivy League and ECAC titles.
“Our goals from the start of the season were to win ECAC and national championships,” he said. “That is why I came to Cornell – to win a [national] championship. That’s what we’ve been focusing on since last April. We were so close to the Frozen Four last year. It left a bitter taste in a lot of guys’ mouths.”
Cornell missed a trip to the 2005 Frozen Four by a goal as Minnesota and fellow Penguins prospects Andy Sertich and Alex Goligoski posted a 2-1 overtime triumph over the Big Red in the West Regional championship game.
“I guess [Sertich and Goligoski] got the better of me that game,” Moulson said. “Maybe we’ll play them again this year.”
Moulson, a native of Mississauga, Ontario, provides plenty of leadership as Cornell’s captain.
“I try to set an example for the young guys,” he said. “It seems to be pretty easy to be a captain on Cornell because we have a lot of great seniors and a lot of leadership from all the older guys. We have two great alternate captains [Jon Gleed and Chris Abbott]. I get to be the captain, but I get a pretty good supporting cast.”
Moulson follows the Penguins regularly.
“I watch them every game I can. It seems like they have a great bunch of young guys who have a lot of potential,” he said. “It’s exciting to go on a team like that that has the potential to do so well. I think there are only bright things to come for the team and its prospects.”
Moulson has had a chance to play against many Penguins prospects throughout his career.
“Goligoski and Sertich are great players. The Penguins have had a lot of really good NCAA guys and they are all doing really well,” he said. “I played against Noah Welch probably every shift for three years. There are a lot of great players in the system. It’d be great to play with some of those talented guys.”
Once Moulson, who has 33 points (16+17), graduates this year, he is looking forward to coming to Penguins training camp in the fall.
“Right now, I am concentrating on winning a national championship,” he said. “It’ll be exciting to play with all the players in the Penguins organization. I definitely look forward to coming to camp and earning a spot. It’s exciting for me. I probably wouldn’t have even thought about this a couple years ago. It seems to be coming so fast.”