Utica, N.Y. - A few weeks ago, he was playing NCAA D-I men's hockey with Quinnipiac. Now, he is officially on the scoresheet as a professional.
Tanner MacMaster scored his first professional goal in his second professional game with the Utica Comets in a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Marlies on the road, Friday.
"It was really exciting," he said. "That one popped out in front of the net and I got a pretty good piece of it, and I don’t know I kind of went blank when it went in, but it was an exciting moment for sure."
Arriving just a few days ago, it has been quite the week for MacMaster, but he has seemed to have settled in nicely to his new team.
"It's been a pretty quick transition," he said. "I came in Wednesday night then watched the game on Friday and got in my first one Saturday.
It's been a pretty whirlwind week, but it's been exciting."
The former Bobcat scored a goal, put three shots on goal and finished with a +1 rating in his first weekend as a pro. Putting home that marker on Sunday is something that gives him a big confidence booster going forward.
"Getting that first one out-of-the-way kind of relaxes [you] and shows that you can play at this level," he added. "But you have to keep things simple and keep playing your game so I think getting that first one out of the way helped a lot."
His transition to the team has been made easy by the guys in the locker room, a team that is used to having new players in-and-out, often this season.
"The guys have been great, really welcoming, the entire staff has been really good," MacMaster said. "It's always a different experience coming into a new team, especially in the latter half of the year when things are ramping up for a playoff run, but I feel like I came into a good situation so I'm happy about it."
His debut weekend not only gave him the confidence that he can play in the pros, but he also received heavy praise from his new coach.
"I think he’s doing good, he’s done good for a kid coming in with completely no experience," said Comets head coach, Trent Cull. "He’s a savvy player, he’s got good hockey sense, he knows where to go knows where to put pucks
I thought he did a really good job."
For MacMaster, he's just trying to help out this team any way he can, and make the most of his opportunity here. He considers himself an offensive minded player, and exhibited that this past weekend.
Now, he said he just needs to keep things rolling.
"I think I just got to keep working on my game, keep doing a little things right and hopefully things keep going well."
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