SEASON REFLECTIONS: CONNOR LACOUVEE
Q: Overall how do you feel the season went?
A: I feel like it was great season. It’s so weird to talk about the season with how it ended, but I think Mariners’ fans and Mariners’ players have a lot to look forward to. I think we had a similar start to the previous year, but our team grew a lot from last year to this year. There were a lot of improvements, like executing our systems, and being more even keel as a team. We had a young team last year, and maybe this year too, but there was a lot of improvement from last year. It would have been nice to play the last couple regular season games and see where we ended up in the playoff picture, either third or fourth place. It would have been awesome to have some playoff games at the Cross Insurance Arena. With our group of guys that are coming back, the sky is the limit.
Q: What was your favorite moment during this season?
A: I’m going to have to agree with the guys, it’s when we went up to Newfoundland and won three of those games out of the four there. That was a blast. It was the best of both worlds, a lot of team success, obviously winning three of the four games and the guys were playing very well. Then it was awesome to have that level of team camaraderie, getting to have the rookie party out there. Road trips are always so fun, and they’re even better when you’re winning. That whole road trip was awesome, it did wonders for the composition of the team. I think we were just peaking at the right time, kind of finding our groove. That was definitely one of the high points of our season.
Q: What was your favorite promotional night?
A: On the Miracle night, I thought the setup we had with the jerseys and socks, the colors, I thought that was pretty sharp! I liked the school game in Reading. The school game is so cool to see all of the young kids there. I like playing in front of a bunch of kids, getting them out of school and grow the game a bit.
Q: Which of your teammates were you most impressed with?
A: I can name a few guys. I think [Ryan] Culkin had such a great season. He really exploded offensively. I think he was the best defenseman in the entire league when he was with us. He was playing so well, and I was really happy for him that he got called up to Laval at certain points. It’s tough, you obviously want that guy to do well and succeed, but he’s such a good player when he was playing with us. He was one guy that was super impressive. I thought he stepped it up a lot from last year, he was so dominant. Foxy (Dillan Fox) had a great season, especially an incredible first half, getting called up to Hartford. This guy played in the SPHL last year, came to Maine, reisigned with Maine, led the team in goals and got called up to the AHL. That was super impressive, making his way from getting his call to come to Maine, becoming an everyday guy, to be a guy who excels, to being a guy that gets called up and gets an opportunity at the next level. AK (Alex Kile) struggled a bit early on in the season, missing a couple games, but when he came back, he was so dominant. He’s such an amazing playing, so crafty, so skilled, just so dynamic out there. He is super impressive to watch handle the puck. Sean Day is another one. It’s so impressive the way he can just take over the game with his skating. Especially in this league, he is definitely the most impactful player out there some nights. It’s weird to see him in the Coast when you’ve seen a couple of his moves does.
Q: Did you meet any of your personal goals? If so, what were they?
A: It’s tough to say. I do have personal goals, but they are more related to the team doing well and working hard each day, compete each day, and be a good teammate. The personal goals would be like winning in the playoffs, being the starting goalie, working as hard as I can. I gravitate a bit away from trying to set statistical goals because especially as a goalie, there are so many things that uncontrollable. There were a lot of games that I felt like I played a really good game, but I let in three goals. Then there are some games where I got a shutout or let in one, but I wasn’t satisfied with that game. Just as a general rule, I started more games than I did last year, won more games than I did last year, more shutouts. The only things that I would have wanted more of this season were getting to play those last games, getting to play in the playoffs, getting to play in Laval like I did last year. That was a bit upsetting, but those are out of my control. That’s why I set smaller goals of playing well, having fun, and being a good teammate because those are controllable things.
Q: Is there anything that you want to say to the fan base?
A: Thank you so much for supporting us all year! We have some amazing fans. We appreciate everything that they’ve done for us. I really wish we could have gotten to play in the playoffs for everyone, because that would have been such a cool experience. The Cross Insurance Arena would have been rocking! Looking forward to next season and I hope to see everyone there!