You have two sisters who play hockey, where do they play and what were some of your first memories with them?
I have a twin sister Maddy and an older sister Melissa, they both are home now too. Maddy is a senior at Shattuck St. Mary’s then going to Quinnipiac and Melissa played at Quinnipiac then in Sweden this season. Maddy and I played on the same team for 3 years when we were younger. It was pretty cool to play with her and have fun. I’ve got memories with both of them just in the living room when we were super young playing mini-sticks and stuff like that. Maddy and I played with each other until about Peewee Minor or major probably until we were about 12.
Your full name is Matthew, how did you end up going by Mackie?
My sister when she was younger couldn’t say “Matthew” so she would say Mackie and different versions of Matthew and I guess Mackie just kind of stuck. I like it so I’ve kept it with me for my whole hockey career.
What helped you and your family deciding to go to Shattuck St. Mary’s?
Melissa went there for four years and she wasn’t sure if she wanted to go but then she loved all four years so I think it was kind of a no-brainer for Maddy and me to go. Obviously, there are some good players that have come through there so I thought that would be a pretty good place for my development on and off the ice because it’s great academically too.
You actually played with Brendan Brisson before this season when you were both at Shattuck, what were your first thoughts of him?
We first played together U16 year I said “Wow this kid is really good.” As he got more confident everyone thought wow, this kid can play. He was on a good team his first year and every year since then he’s just been working and getting better. I think that’s helped him to this point and that’s why he’s getting the success that he’s having.
Has he always had an outgoing personality?
Being from California, those kids are always like that. He’s a fun guy to be around and a great roommate too.
Which game stands out in your mind as a favorite from this year?
Probably the Dubuque game where we came back from 3-2 with a minute left, we scored two to win it. We were down 2-1 and I got one. Dubuque scored and Sean Farrell tied it and I think I got the assist on the game winner to Erik Middendorf with a couple of seconds left. It was really meaningful too since they were right behind us in the standings. To get two points without going into overtime was pretty big for us.
How did you think your transition went to your first full season in the league?
Start of the year it was kind of an adjustment going from U18 to the USHL, it’s kind of a big jump. Right at the start of the year it felt like I was behind the play because it was just so fast and I think getting used to that. Putting in the work during the week added up and everything just started to click for me.
You really started putting up big numbers about a month into the season. Did you change anything leading up to that point?
I think I gained so much confidence in that November-December stretch. Once you get that confidence, things just start clicking for you and it feels like it comes easier. Every night you feel like you’re going to go into it and get a couple points. The work that we do during the week with the staff has helped me out a lot and I think that’s why I was having the success this season.
The team enjoyed a lot of success all year long, have you ever been a part of a team like this?
Not to that extent but our Shattuck U18 team was really good so that would probably be the closest. It wasn’t near this year’s team, it was pretty special. We were good to start off and then I think the work we put in during the week just made everything easier.