The clash between Cornell and Team USA U18 pits John McCarron, the sophomore forward for the Big Red, against his younger brother Mike McCarron from the United States Development Program. The two natives of Macomb, Michigan will meet on opposing teams for the first time. So, even though the sibling combatants are very well acquainted, this meeting Friday night at Lynah Rink will be a first for both of them.
The Lynah Faithful are very well informed about John McCarron. WAFT included him in our countdown just a week ago. A post that gave more in-depth information. So, I will first start with highlighting what the Lynah Faithful can expect to see from Mike at Friday night's game.
Mike McCarron was selected to participate in the inaugural All-American Prospects Game. He impressed observers and NHL scouts alike. Most left concluding that he had improved his skills and that he provided one of the most impressive displays of skill sets of all the participants in the game. Mike was crucial to the development of three plays that yielded goals for Team McClanahan even if the box score credits him for only one assist. Team McClanahan went on to defeat Team Housley 5-2 with Mike's performance being no small factor in that result.
Mike McCarron was not able to rest on his laurels and praise long. He returned to the United States Development Program and began competing with the Program in its early season games. Unsurprisingly, the younger McCarron, much like his elder brother who is at Cornell already, has been crucial to the success of his team.
The Under-18 team plays a slate of USHL teams in addition to several NCAA Division I programs. Mike has accumulated 3 points over USHL teams alone even at this early stage in the season. This total includes a goal that Mike scored against Dubuque. The arsenal of Mike McCarron has been on display against several NCAA Division I programs already. Andy Iles and the Cornell defensive core should take note.
The Michigan forward for the United States Development Team has contributed tallies in half of the games against NCAA Division I teams that the Under-18 team has played. Mike has seen action in all of those games. An assist on Shane Eiserman's goal against Notre Dame that stood and led to a draw as a result, and a power-play goal against North Dakota at "The Ralph" are among his early season offensive contributions to date.
The skills of John are well known already to the Faithful. John totaled 19 points last season with six goals within that total. He looks to improve this season. Even though the game in a few hours is immaterial in terms of NCAA Division I record keeping, John can be expected to begin the 2012-13 season where he ended the 2011-12 season. As an explosive forward who contributes greatly to Cornell's offensive upside.
All of John's goals last season were scored after the mid-season break. He scored his first collegiate goal in Colorado Springs and never looked back. He scored a pivotal game-tying, regular-season goal against Union in February 2012. He contributed the game-winning goal against Yale last season that ensured that the Big Red would claim Cornell's twentieth Ivy-League title in hockey.
However, none of this examines John's arguably most impressive run of the season. John McCarron contributed a point in half of all Cornell's post-season games during the 2011-12 playoffs. This included John's contribution of three points over the last four games of the season. Anyone who was at Atlantic City cannot help but remember his goal against Colgate that he scored on a very short breakaway after a turnover in Colgate's zone. His puck handling and puck placement were so precise that the play appeared to spectators as though it were happening in slow motion.
At the time of that goal against Colgate, it would have seemed scarcely imaginable that John could surpass that offensive display. Such notions would prove incorrect as John opened the scoring against the Michigan Wolverines in the 2012 NCAA Midwest Regional Semifinal with a shot from the face-off circle that sped past Shawn Hunwick and began the scoring wave that propelled Cornell into the Midwest Regional Final.
Both McCarrons are talented players. Both happily have an unassailable taste in collegiate hockey programs. Mike McCarron has committed to pull on the carnelian and white sweater of Cornell at the beginning of the 2013-14 season and play alongside his brother John. However, tonight, WAFT is sure that it will be quite the showdown between the McCarrons from Macomb as each gifted forward attempts to jockey to put his team ahead of the other. With little doubt, family bragging rights are on the line.
With all this in mind, perhaps the Faithful should take it a little easier on Mike this evening than they will the other members of his team. He is family after all. And not just only to John.