By GORDON ANDERSON
When you’re a natural goal scorer, what can be more fun than leading the entire league in goal scoring.
I mean, how fun is that Jaydon Gordey?
“Oh, I love it,” Gordey said with a smile after his team picked up a 5-3 win over the Lloydminster Blazers last Sunday at the Coca-Cola Centre.
As fate would have it, Gordey ripped in another goal on Sunday morning, tying the game at 1-1, at 6:29 of the first period.
But he’s scored so often it ain’t about fate or luck.
Heading into this weekend’s action, the 15-year old Grande Peace Athletic Club AA Midget Storm forward is tops in Northern Alberta Hockey League (NAHL) goal scoring with 16 markers in a dozen plus one skates.
Gordey also leads the NAHL in total points with 30. That’s neat and tidy work for a first-year player in the AA midget loop.
“He’s unreal, just the way he carries the play for us,” Storm teammate Liam Morrow said. “No one can get the puck off his stick when he has it. He carries the offence and he’s our go-to-guy.”
The right spots
The St. Joe’s student possesses the ability to find the dead spots, the areas in the offensive zone where the opposition gets lazy or passive. In what seems like a blink of an eye, he finds those areas and, zap, the puck is off his stick, zinging behind an unsuspecting goalie.
“Honestly, I think I see the ice really well, but getting the puck to the net is the biggest factor,” Gordey said. “Just get the puck on net as you never know where it could go.”
“He plays well and he’s a pleasure to coach,” Storm Head Coach Fraser Berg added. “He’s probably one of the most pure, well-rounded goal scorers I’ve ever coached. He reads the play well and has a good hockey sense. He just seems to get in the right places at the right time and his shot, for a small guy, is deceiving. He can shoot it well.”
But like the way most hockey players are brought up, they tend to have a modest air about them, not a sense of ego about their ability to accomplish nice things when frozen water comes in contact with metal blades.
Gordey acknowledged his often-time linemates Aiden Brown and Tyler Buchberger have contributed to his success, success enough where a story is written about it. No doubt, they appreciate the plug, too.
“They’re really good players; they can pass the puck and move the puck well,” Gordey said. “(They are) smart players.”
Not a limiting factor
Berg appreciates the way Gordey doesn’t let his physical size dictate the way he goes about doing his job for a team that is tied for second best record in the Rural Conference with nine wins, three losses and one tie.
Gordey isn’t the tallest player on the ice, checking in at about five-foot-five but, man, does he play big. As the old adage goes, with some dramatic licence tossed in, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight. It’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
“His size doesn’t hold him back. He skates very well and with his hockey smarts he can get to the open areas and create,” Berg said. “He gets opportunities and the more you watch him, the more opportunities (you see ) him create.”
Speaking of watching, we must go back to the beginning of the story, something about watching someone do something they love to do.
“There’s a smile on his face when he comes to the rink,” Berg said. “He likes to have fun and it’s nice to watch him score goals. I love watching him score goals. At this level, if you have guys that can put the puck in the back of the net on a consistent basis, it’s just nice to watch.”
The Storm host the Peace River Royals on Sunday afternoon at the Chris McMillan Arena in Clairmont. Puck drop is set for 12:30 p.m.