Plum hockey's Gable enjoying new perspective as coach
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Jordan Gable graduated from Plum in June after a standout career as a player for the Plum varsity ice hockey team.
The team captain and all-star performer for the Mustangs was a key component at forward for a team that made a couple of playoff appearances during his time on the varsity squad.
He scored three goals and added six assists in 19 games as a senior, and he had a big junior captain in 2011-12 with 10 goals and 25 assists in 23 games.
Gable still is with Plum this season, but he is seeing things from a different point of view as a coach.
“Saying goodbye to the sport you love as a player is something that is always hard to do,” Gable said.
“I didn't want to be completely done with hockey, and I was lucky enough to stick around locally for college.”
Gable currently is taking general education courses at CCAC as he contemplates a further course of study. He had thoughts of continuing to play hockey in some capacity, but his education, he said, was a key factor that swayed his decision to leave the ice as a player.
“In the offseason, I told coach (Dave) Stonebraker that I didn't want to totally step away, and I asked him if there was anything I could do,” Gable said.
“He offered me an assistant coaching job, and here I am.”
Gable ended up getting certified to coach and he began to work with the team.
“It's a different experience and different perspective, but I like it,” Gable said.
“As a player, you tend to think that you're always right. When you look at it from the other side, you realize that you should've listened more. You never realize how much of a challenge it can be to reach out to somebody. Seeing it from both ends gives me a whole new respect for the coaches who have worked with me my whole life and who have helped me get better.”
With Gable's help, former teammates such as seniors Zach Kuhn and Joe Randazzo and junior David Stonebraker have forged the Mustangs into the top half of the standings in the race for the PIHL Class AA playoffs.
Plum defeated West Allegheny, 5-3, on Monday to improve to 11-5-3 overall.
Its 25 points puts it tied for third in the AA standings with a game against Armstrong on Thursday at 6:15 p.m. and a home-and-home series with North Hills on Monday and Feb. 24 left on the schedule.
“I know what it feels like to fight for playoff (positioning), and this team, especially the younger players, have improved all season,” Gable said.
“It's been a lot of fun this season, and I know we can make some noise in the playoffs.”
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825, at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.
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