© Rimouski Oceanic
Nov. 13, 2015, will always hold a special place to Carson MacKinnon.
His Rimouski Oceanic were trailing 2-0 in the third period in Rouyn-Noranda when MacKinnon and Alex-Olivier Voyer, the team's two 16-year-old rookies, were sent onto the ice.
The two were battling with a pair of Huskie players when Voyer took the puck behind the net.
"The guy that was covering me fell in the corner, so I was left alone in front," MacKinnon explained. "He made a very nice pass to me, which left me with a wide-open net."
MacKinnon took care of the rest for his first Quebec Major Junior Hockey League goal.
"It took a lot longer than I would have liked it too, but in the end it was a special moment and something I will never forget," he said.
MacKinnon, who had two goals and three assists in 36 games before Friday's contest in Halifax, is finding his way through his rookie season with the Oceanic.
"The biggest adjustment would be the speed and how much time you have to make a play," said the five-foot-11, 145-pound MacKinnon. "Also playing against grown men, I'm 16, so I'm a little bit smaller than other guys that are 20 years old, so you have to make a decision quick."
MacKinnon had initially committed to the University of Maine. After attending an under-17 Hockey Canada camp, he realized he could compete with the top players at his age level. MacKinnon attended Rimouski's training camp and after adapting well, he spoke with the coaches and his father John and decided to play major junior as opposed to returning to Notre Dame in Wilcox, Sask.
He said it was a difficult decision as Maine would have been a great university to attend and play for.
"I feel like I need to get better every day. I feel the way to do that is to play at the top of the level I can at my age," he said.
MacKinnon has recently played on a line with Tyler Boland and Alexandre Grise.
The Oceanic play plays the Charlottetown Islanders today at 3 p.m. at the Eastlink Centre.
"I'm trying not to overthink it. I don't want to go there and try and do too much," he said. "I'm just going to try and play it like another game."