Athlete Spotlight: Matt Dillon
By Ryan Massad, Contributing Writer
School: Shrewsbury High
Coach: Steve Turnblom
Notable Stats: 13 goals and 40 assists as a sophomore
What are your earliest hockey-related memories?
“My earliest memories of my hockey career would have to be skating with my Uncle John, who was the one who taught me how to skate. I have a picture of me when I was 3 years old getting on the ice with him at Buffone arena, and I can still remember it.”
Which coach/adult encouraged you to succeed at hockey as you got older?
“I would have to say my dad. When I was younger, he made sure that I was always at the rink working on my skating and skills. Every winter, he would build a rink in the backyard up until I was 13, so I could work on my shot and skating all winter long. His support is what caused me to be so interested in the sport.”
What was the biggest difference between your freshman and sophomore seasons at Shrewsbury High?
“The main differences between my freshman and sophomore year would be size. I grew from 5’9” to 6’1” over the last year, and that definitely helped my speed. Also, working out over the summer helped as well.”
What was the single most-special game during your hockey career?
“The best game would have to be this year’s State Championship at TD Garden. It was something the whole team had been looking forward to all year long.”
How good of a feeling was it to accomplish your team’s goal of winning the State Championship?
“Taking home the state title was a surreal feeling. Losing in the district semi-finals the year before was heartbreaking, so to come back and have as big of a year as we did was great. Being able to win by such a large margin was also awesome, because it sent the message to other high school hockey programs that we were for real.”
What would you consider to be the best attribute of your game?
“I’d say my best attribute would be my passing. Ever since I was a little kid, I have always taken great pride in my passing. I feel like my ability to see the ice, and to see open lanes to pass to my teammates is my greatest attribute.”
Who are your favorite NHL team and player?
“My favorite player is Erik Karlsson, hands down. His head for the game, and offensive skills as a defenseman blow me away. If there is anybody I try to model my game after, it is definitely him. I always make sure to watch him play, because of how creative he can be with the puck. As far as my favorite team goes, I would have to go with the Bruins. Everyone in my family likes the hometown team so I went along with it. I watch all the games I can.”
What is your favorite class in school, and why?
“My favorite class is English. The reason I enjoy English is because when you write a paper, you can use your mind and imagination. There is not a right or wrong answer. The freedom to share your own opinion interests me as well.”
What is your ultimate goal in the game of hockey?
“My ultimate goal in hockey is to play at the Division I level, and beyond that, I want to play pro hockey.”
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