The Toronto Rock are expecting big things from Ethan O’Connor this season. The 2013 first round draft pick made his NLL debut on Friday night at the ACC, against the Calgary Roughnecks.
It proved to be a dream start to his professional career, as the 21-year old had two assists and scored one goal to help the Rock win 16-11. We spoke with O’Connor after the game in the locker room:
Blue Toro: First of all Ethan, congratulations on your first game in the NLL. How would you sum up your performance?
Ethan O’Connor: I thought I played pretty well. I was able to settle down fairly quickly and I didn’t let the nerves get to me. I had fun today, it was a real blast.
BT: Scoring your first goal on your debut helped make it a dream start as well. Were you more excited or just relieved to get it out of the way?
O’Connor: I can’t really find the words to explain it……………I was happy! (Laughs.) At the same time, it almost felt too easy and you just have to laugh at yourself, because it’s not meant to be. It was great to share it with the rest of the guys and they couldn’t be happier for me.
BT: In the seconds leading up to the goal, did you actually have time to think about the moment or did instinct just take over?
O’Connor: With that goal, we were leading with a few minutes left and usually in that situation you don’t have such a straight line to the net so you pull it out. So for half a second there, I was thinking about if should I pull it out and not shoot? There was a guy kind of in front of me, but I looked up and could see there was a bit of an open lane so I thought I might as well go for it.
BT: With opening night out of the way, have you set yourself any goals for the season, whether it be personal, team orientated or statistical?
O’Connor: Not really in the statistical sense. I mean I’d like to contribute statistically, but I guess my main goal is to contribute to the team on a nightly basis. That could mean goals, assists or just playing hard on defence and not letting the other team score. But overall, I just want to make sure I’m getting out there regularly and doing my bit to help the team.
BT: Sounds good. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Congratulations again on your debut and good luck for the season.
O’Connor: No worries. Thank you.
Photo credit: www.torontorock.com
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- By English Paul
- January 6, 2014