By Matt Mackinder
In what has turned out to be a very successful offseason for the Metro Jets in terms of player advancement, defenseman and former captain Mike Corder has committed to ACHA Division I power Oakland University based in nearby Rochester.
Corder played two years for the Jets and was the 2009-2010 captain and assumed the same role the first half of last season. Statistically, the 21-year-old from Warren, Mich., posted two goals and 12 assists in 76 career games with a combined 186 penalty minutes.
His solid defensive play, coupled with his fearlessness on the ice, had several colleges taking note as last season came to a close.
“I was really unsure as to where to attend school and try to play hockey this season,” said Corder. “I discussed the colleges with (Jets head) coach (Jason) Cirone and he put me in touch with (OU assistant) coach (Nick) Tomczyk. I spoke a few times with coach Tomczyk and he said that the OU staff had seen me play with the Jets. I went to the first camp of the summer and enjoyed the up-tempo style that the OU players played. I wanted a good college and a good opportunity to play for a national championship – OU is that college. I just want to do whatever I can to help the team and the program.”
OU won the Division II national championship in 2004 and 2006 under former head coach Sean Hogan, also a former Jets player in the mid-1990s, and then moved to Division I and won the national title in 2007, also with Hogan at the helm.
Corder has aspirations off the ice, too.
“My goals academically are to do the best that I can and get the best grades that I am able to get while I try to decide what I want as a major,” Corder explained. “During my first two years, I plan to get a lot of my general education classes out of the way while I try a few different areas to see what interests me. I would like to earn a degree in something that will allow me to stay connected to hockey when my playing career is over.”
The Grizzlies have a handful of ex-Jets on the roster, including forward David Merkle, a former teammate of Corder’s during his first season in Waterford.
“It is nice to have something in common and a few familiar faces does make the transition and getting to know the team a bit easier,” noted Corder.
Showing his humble side, Corder gave thanks to the Jets’ organization and has high hopes for the organization moving forward.
“My two seasons with the Jets made me a more well-rounded player “ said Corder. “I gained a lot of experience and learned a great deal from the coaches, especially coach Cirone. I really learned my role as a player and how to simplify the game. Coach Cirone made the game easy to understand, even at the faster pace of juniors. I don't feel that I would have had the opportunities to get an education and continue to play a high level of hockey without my time with the Jets organization and coach Cirone.
“During my first season, the team started to move a little bit in the right direction. After coach Cirone came in, the team really started to gain momentum going down the right road. The bumps will have to be smoothed out a bit, but I know that coach Cirone expects nothing but 100 percent night in and night out and he won't settle for anything less from his players or himself. I know that the NA3HL draft was very positive for the team and they tendered some good players. I am excited to see what the Jets can accomplish this upcoming season.”