Horrell Earning His Time
by Adam Wodon/Managing Editor
Jon Horrell's proverbial winding road has been longer than most, but he couldn't be any more comfortable right now.
The senior goaltender led Bowling Green to three wins last weekend, as coach Scott Paluch has given him the reins — at least, moreso — as the season has gone on. Now it looks like Horrell will get the opportunity to carry the Falcons as far as they can go, which could be a long way in the wide open CCHA if the recent six-game winning streak is any indication.
"I've played a lot lately, but I don't know what the plan is from here on out," Horrell said.
"My approach has changed a bit, I'm taking a more of a desperate approach to every game because we need every point we can get right now. ... It filters down."
Horrell was born in England, but his family moved to Ontario when he was two years old. At age 13, they moved to Georgia, where he played bantam hockey with Ohio State's Dave Caruso before heading to the National Sports Academy in Lake Placid for high school.
When it was time for college, Horrell went to Findlay, a new program in the fledgling CHA that seemed to have a chance for a bright future. But the school administration decided to pull the plug on the program, leaving Horrell without a team.
"We were angry with the school because of the way they approached it," said Horrell of that confusing time. "There was no discussion with us, we were told over Christmas break. The school held a meeting and said, 'Listen, we're cutting the program.' They knew about it, but didn't tell us until halfway through the year, so it made it difficult for us with recruiting."
Horrell lucked out because Bowling Green had a freshman goalie that left the team. He would go there with a chance to back up Jordan Sigalet.
"[They] were looking for someone who already had some experience," Horrell said. "They wanted me to take over for Jordan for my final year so they'd have time to develop their new guy, Jimmy Spratt.
"It was [hard] but at same time it wasn't, because it was something I was ready for. I knew coming in I was going to be sitting behind Jordan Sigalet. It's always difficult when you're going from somewhere where you know you'll be playing to somewhere you're not."
Being a leader is never as easy for a goalie as it is for other players, just by the nature of the position. But for Horrell, it's even harder because, even though he's a senior, he's only been there two years. So he often defers to others.
"I tend to just lead by example if I'm put in sort of a leadership position. It is harder for me being a two-year student as opposed to a four-year guy. I just don't carry that kind of full senior role."
But he will carry the load in net.