Athlete Spotlight: Conor McCann
By Ryan Massad, Contributing Writer
School: Saint John’s High School
Coach: Mike Mead
What are your earliest hockey memories?
“My earliest hockey memory is learning to skate at the Lake Ave. rink in Worcester, back when there was open ice time on Sunday mornings. My dad would tie my skates in the lobby, strap my helmet, and skate around with me, holding me up, with my feet barely touching the ice.”
What was it like as a freshman first trying out for the Saint John’s hockey team?
“My first Saint John’s tryouts were stressful, but exciting at the same time. Growing up, you usually just play with your own age group, but in high school, the kids are as much as four years older, so it was a different experience. As a freshman, I looked up to the upperclassmen. They seemed so talented, and I knew I’d have to work hard to compete with them.”
Which coach has really encouraged you to succeed during your young hockey career?
“I’ve had many coaches over the years but one that stands out for me is my dad. He’s either been an assistant coach or a head coach for most of my teams. Having played for Saint John’s, and then Assumption College, he knows what he’s talking about, and his input helps a lot. Whether it be driving me to 6 a.m. practices, or going to every game, he has really encouraged me to succeed every step along the way.”
Which teammate has it been easiest to relate with?
“I’ve played with Bryan Nelson (senior defenseman) since I was six years old. We know each other’s tendencies on the ice from being partners on defense, and I think our chemistry comes from being best friends off the ice.”
Which single game has been the most special up to this point in your career?
“I have had many special moments, but one that stands out is a game sophomore year. It was my first game starting, which was against Arlington Catholic. We had an extremely deep team that year, and ended up earning a Super 8 Tournament appearance. The Arlington Catholic game was a huge game for us, and to have coach trust me enough to start me in such pivotal game meant a lot. I’ll never forget not being able to wipe the smile off my face in the locker room before the game when coach told me I was starting.”
What do you personally consider to be the best part of your game?
“I feel as though I play a complete all-around game. I skate well, and I’m a good defensive player who likes to contribute in the offensive zone on the power play.”
What is your favorite professional hockey team and who is your favorite player?
“Growing up, my dad raised me to be a Boston Bruins fan, so naturally I grew up loving them. My favorite NHL player is Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk. He shows up to play every night, and is someone I really try to shape my game after.”
What is your favorite class in school?
“My favorite class is physics. My grandfather was a physics teacher at Doherty High School from the ‘60s to the ‘80s. I like to learn what makes the world tick, and why things happen.”
Would you like to play hockey in college next year?
“Growing up, my goal was to someday play college hockey, and I’m doing my best to keep that goal alive. I’ve been talking to several Division 2 and Division 3 schools, and hopefully I’ll be able to keep playing hockey in college.”
What kind of legacy do you hope to leave behind at Saint John’s?
“I just hope to be a good role model and leader for my teammates now, as well as help ease the transition for our first year head coach, Mr. Michael Mead. I hope I’m remembered as a player who always tried my best to help my team.”
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