Air Force's Jordan Himley a jokester everywhere but on the ice

March 16, 2017 Updated: March 16, 2017 at 6:23 pm
photo - Jordan Himley - The Air Force Academy Falcons defeated the Black Knights of Army Friday, January 27, 2017 at the Air Force Academy. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette
Jordan Himley - The Air Force Academy Falcons defeated the Black Knights of Army Friday, January 27, 2017 at the Air Force Academy. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette 

On the ice, Air Force junior Jordan Himley is a hard-nosed competitor who leads the Falcons in scoring.

But on the bench or in the locker room, he is often smiling or joking to relax his teammates.

That combination has made him an invaluable part of the Falcons' run to the Atlantic Hockey Conference semifinals this weekend.

"Himmer is a pretty loose cat," coach Frank Serratore said. "Hockey is his happy place. Even during tense times, I'll look (down the bench) and he will be smiling."

And while the coach can be annoyed by that, Himley's humor helps his teammates stay loose during normally trying moments.

"Himley is kind of a goofy guy and he embraces that," junior Dylan Abood said. "He says things that may make guys do a double take. One thing I really admire is how much he really loves this group of guys. This team is very much his family and he enjoys being part of that."

Himley, who admitted his humor has made for some awkward moments away from the rink, often repeats jokes by comedian Bill Burr that are familiar to the Falcons. It helps him too.

"When I get down on myself I don't play as well and I am a bit of a jokester anyway," Himley said. "It's just me being a goofball."

That does not take away from a white-hot competitive streak in the 5-foot-8, 160-pounder who leads the Falcons in points (31) thanks to a team-high 19 goals.

"He is the only guy who has called me out when I'm not going 100 percent and that gets me going," senior captain Johnny Hrabovsky said. "He makes a lot of jokes and keeps things light, but when it is game time he is the most intense I have ever been around. That makes me better and him better. It's just his competitive nature."

That fire has made Himley a more consistent scorer (eight goals as a sophomore) which he attributes to linemates Tyler Ledford (18 points, 12 assists) and Erik Baskin (21, 11 assists). Their production is a major reason the second-seeded Falcons (24-9-5) are in Friday's second semifinal against Army (18-13-5), which may be missing starting goalie Parker Gahagen.

"He's taken a big step," Serratore said of Himley. "Nineteen goals are hard to come by unless you're (former Colorado College star) Brett Sterling. He has a great shot and a knack for being in the right place at the right time."

The Illinois native is one of 14 players with 10 points or more.

"That's how we're built," Serratore said. "We are a four-line team and we hope to get production from anyone on any given day. If you want to have a good team, you have to have a great goalie but you also need guys who can score. Hopefully that will continue for Himley and others with a big game on Friday."

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