Airdrie native helping to lead Avalanche on and off the ice
By: Lucas Punkari
| Posted: Thursday, Jan 23, 2014 12:23 pm
As the captain for the Alberta Minor Midget Hockey League’s (AMMHL) AC Avalanche, Airdrie resident Jordan McConnell is finding he is a team leader in a number of ways.
“It really depends on the situation,” McConnell said. “Sometimes, I let my actions on the ice do the talking, but I also will talk to the guys and get pumped in the locker room when the time is right.”
“It’s pretty cool to have that role as a captain, and I feel honoured to be in that position,” he added.
The 15-year-old centre has also been a top player in the points department for the Avalanche this season, as his 43 points in 26 games is second in team scoring behind Adam Tisdale.
“I feel like I’m more of a playmaking type of forward, and I have been playing really well with my linemates Barrett Sheen and Andrew Fyten,” McConnell said.
“We got together as a line just before Christmas, and we are all pretty similar in how we play.”
“Barrett and Andrew are both pretty big guys as well, so it’s good to be on a line that give some intimidation to other teams,” he added.
Thanks to a pair of 9-1 wins on Jan. 18 and 19 in Cochrane over the Calgary Stampeders and the Red Deer Chiefs respectively, the Avalanche have continued its impressive 2013/14 campaign, as it leads the AMMHL’s South Division with a 23-3-1 record.
“We’ve been playing pretty well as a team, and everyone seems to be scoring goals to help us earn the wins that we need to stay at the top of the standings,” McConnell said. “We just need to stay out of the penalty box, if we keep having to skate with just four guys on the penalty kill, we are going to be pretty tired out on the ice.”
Though his main goal for this season is to help the Avalanche win the Sutter South Cup for a second straight year, McConnell is hoping to use his time with the team as a springboard towards making the AMHL’s UFA Bisons in Strathmore next season.
“I tried out for the team at the start of the year, and I ended up being one of the last cuts before they made the final team,” McConnell said. “Since I was one of the final guys who didn’t make the Bisons, I have become even more driven to make the team next year, especially as I work to get faster and stronger in my off-ice training.”
“In the long-term, I really look up to the guys who are playing college hockey in the United States, as they are getting a scholarship to play hockey,” he added. “I would love to be able to have that opportunity, and I would play for whatever school would want me.”
McConnell’s next game with the Avalanche will be on Jan. 28 in Calgary, when the team will go up against the Calgary Blazers at the Max Bell Arena..