ROD MATECHUK - Hard work has paid off!
by Brad Pepple
Hockey is a game that requires great athletic ability, exceptional skating, the agility to maneuver the puck, and determined physical toughness. It is no secret when evaluating these qualities that Rod Matechuk is this type of a hockey player. At 5'9", 185 pounds and 21 years of age, opponents may think this youngster will be nothing but a pushover, but the play of the game quickly evaporates such possibilities. "The checking and physical aspect of hockey never has bothered me because I have always told myself that you have to work for what you get in hockey, and if you want to get anywhere you have to be physical".
Rod obviously is not just concerned about bouncing opponents as he came to the Komets with impressive junior statistics. While playing for Saskatoon last year he had 57 goals and 78 assists for an impressive 135 points. Upon such credentials he was invited to Washington's pro camp, but, on his own confession, "I went in so nervous that I didn't play well at all and got sent down." He eventually was sent to Fort Wayne's training camp via Binghampton and coach Laird has liked what he has seen. "Rod came here with the ability to score, but his defensive game has progressed tremendously; so much that I like to use his line against the opposing team's most potent offensive attack. The most important character trait of Rod's is an intangible because he wants to work hard every game and that is something you simply can't teach."
The International Hockey League is quite different from junior hockey especially in the skating, tighter checking and the goaltending is much more consistent according to Matechuk. The higher level of play has affected Rod's
statistics in comparison to last year, but his hustle, hard work and determination to do all for the team has made his presence invaluable to the Fort Wayne Komets.
Off the ice Rod enjoys motocross, life on the ranch at home, riding and showing horses and he also just plain likes to relax. But for now Rod has his eyes set on playing aggressive hockey and bringing the Turner Cup to Fort Wayne. As far as Fort Wayne is concerned Rod, those goals are just fine with us. Bring us the Turner Cup!