FORT COVINGTON — Connor Dishaw wanted to make his senior season of boys hockey memorable and he has done just that.
The Salmon River senior forward is playing on a team that has dominated this season, with an 18-2 overall record, losing both games to out-of-area Division I teams.
The Shamrocks are the state’s top-ranked team in Division II and 15-0 in Northern Athletic Conference games, outscoring their opponents, 135-32.
Dishaw totaled eight goals and 12 assists last year. This season, he has provided 29 goals and 29 assists and ranks second in scoring in Section 10 to teammate Evan Collette, who has scored 63 points.
“It’s been a great year,” Dishaw said. “It’s the best hockey team I have ever played on. Everything is always energetic, always fun. We’ve been rolling really good, everyone communicates well. Everyone plays well together. We hope to have a good run the rest of the year.”
The Shamrocks have averaged close to eight goals a game (7.95) and Dishaw has played on a line with Collette (33 goals-30 assists) and Carter Johnson (18-13).
“We are really the kind of team that’s taken it to people this year,” Shamrocks coach Tim Cook said. “We come out and we do what we can to put goals up. We’ve played good teams. The biggest thing with us is how we’ve done against the best teams in our league. Those are the games we have to show up and be ready to play and we’ve done well in our games. The better your nonleague schedule is, the better you test yourself.”
Salmon River’s average win margin has been by 5.5 goals. The closest scores have been over Section 7’s Beekmantown (5-4 on Jan. 23) and Section 3’s Ithaca (5-4 on Dec. 10).
Many of the players on the team have won Section 10 championships under Cook in boys soccer and baseball, as well as boys hockey last year.
“Since they were kids they’ve been playing different sports in a lot of different places,” Cook said of his team. “When we get in (big) games, they are prepared. When we show up to the games we are ready to play. We know what we are doing. When we finish a practice, if the game started right after practice we would be ready to play.”
One addition this year that has helped Dishaw is Cook’s brother, Ted, who is an assistant.
Ted Cook played NCAA Division I hockey for Niagara.
“I guess this is a senior year for me,” Dishaw said. “I want to do the best I can for my team. The coaches have helped me a lot. Coach Ted Cook has helped me out tremendously this year. Effort-wise, I’ve always had good effort. A big thing that has helped me out is my line. We sync so well together. Everything goes smoothly. We play well together and we were together for the last half of last year.”
Tim Cook knew Dishaw could improve drastically this year.
“He’s one of the best skaters I’ve ever coached,” Cook said. “When he gets the puck he goes from zero to 150 fast. When he’s turning with it, he’s just as fast. It’s a seamless quick, almost effortless, very smooth. He kind of skates low, which helps him, too.
“He’s scored some big goals this year and he’s playing well shorthanded. He’s all over people. He forechecks well and does things right. He handles puck and handles them well.”
Salmon River has won six state Division II titles and is looking to do so again this year for the first time since 2002.
“You have to be mentally prepared for (state) games,” Dishaw said. “You have to look at things (from past) you could have improved on. It’s a big thing for me. Hockey is my sport.”
The Dishaw file
School: Salmon River
Parents: Peter, Jennifer
Other sports: Soccer, golf
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