Saturday, October 09, 2010

Jets' captain Corder leads by example

Mike Corder epitomized his role as team captain last season so much that when he decided to come back and play his final season of junior hockey with the Metro Jets, the team brass had no problems giving him the ‘C’ for the second straight year.

After all, after a shoulder injury shelved Corder last year, he didn’t sit back and sulk.

It was last October and Corder dropped the gloves with Dubuque captain Ryan Bachman. When the fight was over, Corder sat up on the ice in obvious pain.

“Bachman got the better of me during that fight and I was out for four weeks in a sling,” said Corder, a 20-year-old native of Warren. “I showed up to practices, the coaches gave me a whistle and I stood behind the bench. I have to say it was a change of scenery that I did not like too much. Instead of having surgery and sitting out six months, I went to physical therapy and came back as soon as the shoulder felt strong enough. It never hurts during practice or a game, or I can't feel it, but it hurts before and after.”

Even when last season ended, Corder thought his competitive hockey career was history.

“After last season, I was unclear as to what I really wanted to do – either play hockey or go to college full-time,” explained Corder. “The more I thought about it, the more my mind was set on going to school. I didn't go to any camps all summer; I had literally hung up my skates. Next thing I knew, the exhibition season was starting. (Jets head) coach (Jason) Cirone called me and got me to come out and play an exhibition game against Flint (which the Jets won, 4-3, with six seconds left) and I got a good feeling about the team and the coaching staff.”

As for wearing the ‘C,’ Corder said he feels humbled by the honor, but it’s not something he sought out to get at the beginning of last year.

“I am just the kind of guy who shows up and punches the clock night in and night out,” Corder said. “I'm not the most vocal, but my philosophy is to lead by example. I know my role as a player and I do my job at 110 percent. I expect my team to meet the standard that I set.”

Showing his team player attributes, Corder said even though Metro has just two wins heading into this weekend, it’s not panic time. In fact, it’s the perfect time to show why he’s the Jets’ captain.

“The season has started off a little slower than we hoped for, but we are showing our potential 10 minutes here, five minutes there,” said Corder. “We all just need to buy in 100 percent to what Coach is trying to teach us and simplify the game. It will take a few games for the young guys to get up to speed and understand the game at this level, but it will happen. I feel some pressure, but it is only the pressure that I put on myself to play at the level I expect for myself. I see that as the best way to lead my team.”

Now with renewed enthusiasm to play hockey as long as he can, Corder also has the mentality that this season may be his swan song. His maturity in dealing with that situation certainly shows another side of Corder’s leadership qualities.

“This is my last year of juniors and I am also prepared that it may be my last season of highly competitive hockey with checking, national championships, stuff like that,” Corder said. “If the right opportunity arose I would be right there to jump on it. Life without hockey isn't life at all, so I am just going to focus on playing as well as I can this season because all I can control is what I do.

“There is no reason to worry about next year yet, there is still work to be done this season. Getting noticed and playing college hockey would be great, preferably Division I, but even if it is Division III, I love hockey and if I can play longer, hey, the longer the better.”


The Jets lost at home and won on the road last weekend to push their season record to 2-5-0-0.

Andrew Lay's four goals led the Flint Jr. Generals past the Jets, 6-4, Saturday night at Lakeland Arena.

Caleb O'Brien and Alexander Truran added the other goals for Flint, while goalie Dominic Orlando finished with 18 saves for the win in goal.

The Jets got goals from four different skaters – Tommy Burns (Pinckney), Mike Denston (White Lake), Mike Moroso (Macomb) and Matt Stirling (Dexter) – and a 33-save outing from goaltender Allan Dowler.

Metro faced a 2-1 deficit midway through the second period Sunday afternoon, but scored the next four goals and held on for a 5-3 win over the Michigan Mountain Cats at Canfield Arena.

After a scoreless first period, Tommy Kilgore (Pinckney) staked the Jets to a 1-0 lead with his first of two goals just 20 seconds into the second period. Spencer Scahill scored the next two for the Mountain Cats, both on the power play (at 3:32 and 10:29), to give Michigan the lead until Burns scored a goal with the man-advantage at 12:51 to send the Jets into the second intermission tied at 2-all.

In the third period, Stirling tallied at 5:13 and then Dan Hudson (Gregory) and Kilgore scored 22 seconds apart at 14:05 and 14:27 to complete the comeback.

Aaron Teal scored a late goal for Michigan at 18:11.

For the Jets, Eric Trunick (Commerce Township) earned the win in goal with a 21-save performance. Trunick has been in goal for both of Metro's wins this season.

Brett Grech (Hartland) added two assists for the Jets.

Schuyler Ferguson took the loss for the Mountain Cats, but did make 27 saves in the game.

The Jets host the Quad City Jr. Flames this weekend for a two-game series at Lakeland Arena. Game time Saturday night is 7:50 p.m. with a 1:20 p.m. puck drop set for Sunday afternoon.


Moroso and Kilgore share the team lead in goals with four apiece … Rookie defenseman Ian Costello (Lansing) made his season debut last weekend after being out the first month with a severely lacerated arm and shoulder … The Jets added goalie Alfonse Kolis (Howell) and forward Cameron Bazin (Troy) this week. Goalie Mitchel Leist (White Lake) was released.


Goalie Colin Greeley, who played in Waterford during the 2008-2009 season as a 16-year-old, is now with the Leamington Flyers of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League.

Greeley, a Howell native drafted by the Saginaw Spirit in the fourth round of the 2008 Ontario Hockey League draft, also attended the United States Hockey League Combine this past summer.

In Leamington, Greeley currently has a 4-3-0 record with a 2.82 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage.

Photo by Andy Grossman/Detailed Images

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