WATERFORD, MI " Jordan Reames doesn"t like being on the sidelines, but with a separated shoulder, the best thing for that condition is rest and rehab.
In other words, Reames has to take it easy and watch his Metro Jets" teammates from the stands " not something he"s fond about doing.
"It"s very frustrating to watch your team and know you can do nothing to help them," said Reames.
Injured back in October against Chicago, Reames said the injury happened quite innocently.
"I had made an outlet pass and just took a hit and my shoulder got caught up against the boards," remembered Reames. "I could feel pain instantly."
While injuries are a part of the game, Reames had the itch to get back involved in hockey after sitting out last season playing college baseball instead.
"Last year, I realized I wanted to play hockey again," said Reames, a 19-year-old from Essexville, Mich. "I was going to college only about 20 minutes from the Jets" rink and saw they were close and got in touch with (head scout) Tim Ross. I then came to a skate in the spring and decided to stay with it from there.
"I came into this year not knowing anyone, but with only three returning players, a lot of us were in the same situation, so it made the transition easier and it"s a good bunch of guys, which made it easy to fit in."
Paired often with Mike Corder on the back end, Reames has used his size (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) to his advantage and also found instant chemistry with Corder.
"I feel my role on the team is a defenseman who can step in if needed and help the team out being a big, more physical defenseman," explained Reames. "My last year in high school, I played a lot, but coming here at this level, everyone can play, so it's more about adjusting to find my role and do what I can for the team. Things were just clicking with Corder and me. Like if I pinched, I knew he would be there to back me up and vice versa."
As for the last six weeks of the season and beyond, Reames just wants to keep things in a simple mode.
"My short-term goals are just to help the team this year anyway I can and get to the playoffs," Reames said. "Long-term goals are just to hopefully play for a few more years and stay involved in hockey."
LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD
After being off last weekend, the Jets get back in action this weekend with a home game Saturday night against Toledo and then a game in Battle Creek Sunday afternoon.
The Jets swept Battle Creek back on Jan. 15-16 at Lakeland Arena and have won all three meetings this year, outscoring the Jr. Revolution by a 15-5 margin.
Three former Jets play for Battle Creek in goalie Allan Dowler and defensemen Blake Blaha and Austin Shipaila.
Toledo sits sixth in the NA3HL standings and has lost four straight. Team captain Chad Tickner has 30 goals on the year, while goaltender Ryan Wysocki has been sparkling in net with a 2.94 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage. Forward Cameron Rossman spent some time in the NAHL earlier this season with New Mexico, while defenseman Cory Bastian was returned to the team last week by the NAHL"s Chicago Hitmen.
The Cherokee have won both of their games this season against the Jets.
Metro has six skaters with double-digit goals " Matt Stirling (17), Mike Moroso (14), Tommy Burns (13), Brett Grech (13), Tommy Kilgore (12) and Dan Hudson (11) "¦ Goalie Eric Trunick has won three of his last five starts between the pipes "¦ Jets captain Morgan James is second in the NA3HL with 137 penalty minutes.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Chris Werstine, Metro"s head coach in 2000-2001 when the team won the league and playoff titles, is now the director of the Aviator Hockey Club in New York City.
Werstine also serves as the Jets" eastern U.S. scout and has also coached in Michigan at the AAA level for Honeybaked and in the NAHL for the now-defunct Capital Centre Pride.