Merrimack goaltender James Corcoran was the backstop for Walpole boys hockey's 2017 run to the Super Eight.
By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The COVID-19 pandemic has basically forced all normalities of life either into cancellation or postponement. For former Walpole High School star and Merrimack men’s hockey goaltender James Corcoran, the pandemic put a serious damper on his freshman season with the Warriors.
As many will remember, Corcoran helped lead Walpole High on an improbable run to the school’s first-ever berth in the Super Eight during his senior year in 2017, allowing just 10 goals throughout the regular season.
After grinding his way through a post-grad year at Winchendon, Corcoran received a scholarship offer to attend Merrimack and compete for the starting goaltender job. Corcoran appeared in one game for the Warriors in 2019-2020 on October 12, making seven saves against Wisconsin. Merrimack finished the regular season 9-22-3 (7-14-3 Hockey East).
The remainder of the 2019-2020 college hockey season was cancelled in early March due to COVID-19. Despite the Warriors missing out on the Hockey East and NCAA Tournament, Corcoran says the pandemic was a bitter pill to swallow for he and his teammates.
“I feel really bad for all the seniors,” said Corcoran. “They did a lot to help out guys like myself and the rest of the underclass. It stinks we weren’t able to give them the proper goodbyes and hang out with them for the rest of the spring after the hockey season.”
As far as staying in shape, Corcoran says he and his teammates have been forced to adjust to a life of living and studying from home without the ability to get on the ice every day.
“It’s been tough,” said Corcoran. “There’s nine people living in my house, so I’m definitely ready to get back to school. Our coach gave us a good talk, telling us it’s not just us who aren’t able to skate and stay in our normal routines. Every college hockey team in the country is currently dealing with the same things we are, so the lack of getting on the ice every day is effecting everybody, not just us at Merrimack. I’ve been skating a couple times a week and working out every day with rinks and businesses starting to open back up again, so hopefully, that’ll continue to become more of the norm.”
Currently, it is unknown whether Merrimack will partake in fall/winter athletics, so athletes like James Corcoran will need to wait a little longer before finding out whether or not they will be reporting to campus in the coming months.
For more of Mike Flanagan’s interview with James Corcoran, check out this week’s Hometown Sports Minute.
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as game highlights, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.