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While many hockey players keep track of their statistics, Coby McCarron isn’t one of them.
In fact, the Riverview Ravens forward didn’t even know he was leading the Cape Breton High School Hockey League in points until last Friday night.
“I didn’t find out until my father told me,” said McCarron. “I just really focus on my game and what I can do to help my team win — I never try to look at the points.”
The Coxheath native captured the league’s scoring title on Sunday, finishing the regular season with 16 goals and 39 points in 18 games. He finished ahead of Glace Bay Panthers’ Jarrett Hicks (15 goals, 19 assists, 34 points).
“It’s pretty cool to win the regular season scoring title,” said McCarron. “It’s a pretty good accomplishment.”
One could say McCarron is following in the footsteps of his brothers Dillion and Andrew, both of whom suited up for Riverview High School’s hockey team.
Dillon McCarron finished tied for the league’s scoring title with Memorial’s Vincent Andrea during the 2013-14 season, while Andrew McCarron led the league in goals (28) during the 2018-19 campaign and was one-point shy of the league scoring title.
“It’s pretty cool following in their shadow,” said McCarron, the grandson of the late Terry McCarron of Ashby.
Although Hicks was only five points behind him entering the final game on Sunday, McCarron was more concerned about the outcome and not racking up points to secure the title.
“I was more worried about the turnout of the game,” said McCarron. “I focused on the game and what I had to do to make my team successful and that’s what I’ve always done.”
Despite that attitude, McCarron was forced to watch Glace Bay celebrate its first regular-season title since 2016 with the Panthers edging the Ravens 5-4 at Miners Forum.
Along with producing offensively, Ravens coach Jordan Moss acknowledges McCarron’s leadership in the dressing room as one of his biggest assets.
“It starts in the room and carries to the ice,” said Moss. “He’s not even just a scorer, and that’s the best part about him, he’s a physical guy, he’ll get in your face and does the little things right.”
McCarron, 18, began his hockey career with the Cape Breton County Minor Hockey Association, playing his final year with the Islanders’ under-18 ‘AA’ team in 2018-19.
Last season, McCarron suited up for the Sydney Mitsubishi Rush of the Nova Scotia Under-18 Major Hockey League, posting seven goals and 12 points in 35 games, before joining Riverview for his final year.
"I just really focus on my game and what I can do to help my team win — I never try to look at the points." — Coby McCarron
McCarron, an assistant captain, started the season on the Ravens’ blue-line before working his way up to forward, finishing the season on a line with Sam MacKinnon and Noah MacKinnon.
“He can play a little bit of both and we don’t mind running him up and down between forward and defence,” said Moss.
“The whole point of him being on defence is he sees the ice better back there. We want him to take rushes with the puck when he has open ice because he’s capable of it.”
McCarron credits linemate and childhood friend Sam MacKinnon for his success on the ice this season.
“My family members pushed me off the ice, but I can really credit the success to Sam and his work ethic,” said McCarron. “Every practice and every game he’s always pushing me to be better, so it helped having him as a teammate this season, for sure.”
In other regular-season achievements, Memorial’s Ian Jenkins will be the league’s goal-scoring champion. The Grade 12 student had 18 goals heading into Wednesday’s final league game against Sydney Academy.
Goaltending statistics were not accurately reported on the league website and regular season goaltending honours were not confirmed at press time.
The Cape Breton High School Hockey League playoffs are expected to begin later this week.
As for McCarron, he has high expectations for the Highland Region playoffs.
“We’re not coming here to place second, we want to be the top team,” said McCarron. “We have to work hard and do the little things right and hopefully we’ll reach the championship series next month.”
Jeremy Fraser is a sports and breaking news reporter for the Cape Breton Post. He's been with the publication for four years. Follow Jeremy on Twitter @CBPost_Jeremy.
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