PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — On Dec. 13, senior Wildcats hockey player Connor DeMerchant joined an exclusive club of players when he scored his 100th point on a goal against Waterville/Winslow at Colby College.
DeMerchant went into the game with 98 points total. He made quick work of chipping away at what he needed to get to triple digits. Only a few minutes in, he had an assist, putting the number at 99. At five minutes in, the big moment came.
“I wasn’t even really thinking about it,” DeMerchant said. “Just bounced out and I picked it up, and I was just trying to score to get a bigger lead for the team.”
DeMerchant said the score was a significant relief, a feeling he was happy to have early in the season. Like many athletes chasing personal accomplishments, he saw the 100 number as a potential distraction from his real goal: to win every game and make it far in the playoffs.
Presque Isle coach Carl Flynn said that seeing his longtime player hit the milestone was emotional because he knew what DeMerchant had meant for his team the past four years.
“I had a tear in my eye,” Flynn said. “I was really happy for him.”
Flynn said DeMerchant is the 13th Presque Isle High hockey player to get to 100 points.
He said DeMerchant had come into the program at age 14 on a relatively weak 2016-2017 team. At that young age, a lot of the team’s offense was hoisted on his shoulders. Yet, he took to the task well, finishing with 14 goals and six assists.
Since then, Flynn said DeMerchant had only continued to perform. He had 11 goals and 15 assists his sophomore year, 24 goals and 20 assists his junior year, and as of Wednesday, he was at nine goals and 17 assists for this year.
“We’ve had some success over the last 15 years for this team,” Flynn said. “And it’s because of guys like him, that are willing to work their butts off all year long.”
The Presque Isle High School senior has been playing hockey since he was 4 years old and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Though he hasn’t made a final decision, he has thought extensively about honing his skills in junior hockey before transferring to Division III college play.
DeMerchant said the milestone likely would not have been possible without his work ethic, a viewpoint on which Flynn concurs.
“I can’t just put a half-effort into something,” DeMerchant said. “Even if it’s just schoolwork or anything to do with sports.”
DeMerchant’s record for most points in a game is seven, which he accomplished against Houlton/Hodgdon/Southern Aroostook at Houlton High School on Dec. 10 this year. He had three goals and four assists.