Sean Clark feels politics are a lot like hockey.
“It’s competitive and you get your share of body contact,” laughed the Metro Jets’ assistant coach recently.
Away from hockey, where Clark is also a scout for the Sioux City Musketeers of the United States Hockey League, he ran for Michigan state representative of the 25th district last fall, but didn’t win, losing by a little more than four percent.
“I’m a people person and it was nice to get out into the community and meet my neighbors and leaders from my community and talk about things that are affecting them,” said Clark, a Royal Oak native now living in Warren with his wife of almost three years, Melissa, a school teacher in Detroit. “I went through three pairs of shoes and five pairs of pants. It was a lot of fun, that’s for sure. I knocked on 16,000 doors from June 15 until the election. I had a blast with it, but is it in my future? We’ll see.”
Coming aboard midway through this season, Clark knew what he was getting into when his phone rang and it was Metro head coach Jason Cirone.
“Jason asked me to come help and knew me from our past together at Motor City (of the North American Hockey League) when he was my assistant,” explained Clark. “He asked if I had some free time and if I’d want to come out and help and here we are.”
Clark has come full-circle with the Jets as he previously served as an assistant coach when he was 21 years old during the 2002-03 season.
“It was a lot of fun,” quipped Clark, who worked under John Romine and Fred Costello during that season.
Clark also practiced with the Jets during the 2000-01 season, never played a game, and was traded to the NAHL’s Capital Centre Pride, where he played in 10 games. Prior to that, he skated with the Walpole Express of the Eastern Junior Hockey League.
After getting cleared to play, Clark played three full seasons with Division III Wisconsin-Eau Claire (he was hurt when he coached with Metro in ’02-03) and then had a “cup of coffee” by playing four games in the ECHL with the Bakersfield Condors after his college career ended in 2006.
His playing days done, Clark’s coaching career got off to a rousing success when he was an assistant coach with Michigan Jaguars Midget AA national championship team and then landing with the Motor City Machine (now Metal Jackets) in 2008-09 where he started as an assistant and then was named head coach when Matt Romaniski was relieved of his duties.
Last year, Clark was the director of player personnel for the Metal Jackets.
While politics may not be in Clark’s future, he’s positive coaching will be.
“I just like going out with the guys in practice and teaching and doing things like that,” said Clark. “Any time I can get on the ice and work with young hockey players, it’s a lot of fun for me. I get a lot of enjoyment out of it.”
LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD
After losing Friday night in Toledo, 5-2, the Jets returned home and could fare no better against Queen City, getting swept by the Steam Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at Lakeland Arena.
The scores of 5-2 and 11-2 notwithstanding, Cirone was clearly unhappy after Sunday’s game.
“It is what it is, but the way we played all weekend had the signs of a team that’s not going to the playoffs,” Cirone said. “Some of our guys don’t understand the implications of what they’re still playing for and that’s jobs for next year. Some feel comfortable enough to think that they’ll have a job here next year, but with 12 wins this year, changes will need to be made for next year if we want to succeed.”
In the first game against Queen City, Matt Stirling and Justin Bennett scored the Jets’ goals and Eric Trunick stopped 26 shots in goal.
Sunday afternoon, Bennett, captain Morgan James and Mike Moroso tallied for Metro, while Trunick and Matt Braun combined for 25 saves.
“I was extremely disappointed with our effort this weekend,” added Cirone. “This applies to the whole team. I think our captain showed up, but you can only lead so long before the other guys stop following. A lot of our guys are playing for all the wrong reasons right now.”
The Jets (12-27-1-0) close out the home portion of the season this Saturday night against Cleveland at 7:40 p.m. after what Cirone said will be a normal practice week.
“We have looked so well and done so many good things at practice, but it never transfers over into games,” said Cirone. “Repetition is the only way to get things done, so we’ll keep doing what we’ve been doing and see what happens Saturday night.”
Stirling was Metro’s lone player selected to the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament and played in two games at the Ice Cube in Ann Arbor, Mich., Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon.
He scored the game-winner for Team Black in Monday’s 4-3 win over Team Red.
“Matt has been our most consistent player this season and shows up every game and every practice,” said Cirone. “He definitely earned his way onto that team.”
Team Black topped Team Red, 4-2, Sunday afternoon.
Ex-Jets defenseman Tyler Schofield, now playing for the Michigan Mountain Cats, recorded an assist for Team Red Monday afternoon.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Eric Ehn is a 1st Lt. in the Air Force working in the space and missiles career field at Minot Air Force Base, N.D.
Ehn played for the Jets during the 2000-01 season before eventually playing Division I hockey for Air Force, where he was a Hobey Baker finalist in 2007.