Performance: Calumet's Rory Anderson

January 13, 2017

Rory Anderson
Calumet senior – Hockey

Calumet may be Michigan’s northernmost high school, but its hockey program is known well from Lake Superior to the Ohio and Indiana borders – and earned plenty of respect again by downing Division 2 No. 5 Novi 5-1 last Friday and Division 1’s formerly top-ranked Brighton 4-1 on Saturday. Copper Kings captain Anderson led the way with a goal in both games plus a combined three assists and some valuable checking to earn the Michigan National Guard “Performance of the Week.”

Anderson is a returning all-stater and his team’s leading scorer for the second straight season, this winter with nine goals and 13 assists and a +5 rating (his team has scored five more goals than it’s given up with him on the ice) over 12 games. He had 49 points as a junior and 27 as a sophomore and for his career has 40 goals and 58 assists over 63 games. Neither Brighton nor Novi’s top lines scored during his time on the ice over the weekend, and as a result of those wins the Copper Kings moved up from No. 10 in Division 3 to No. 7 and improved to 6-5-1 after starting this season 0-4.

A three-sport athlete, Anderson will play shortstop, catcher and do some pitching this spring for the baseball team, and also made the media-selected all-Upper Peninsula Dream Team in football this fall helping Calumet set a school record for wins in finishing 10-2. He ran for 741 yards and 16 touchdowns and also averaged 34.3 yards per kick return with two more scores. He’s undecided what he’ll do after high school but would be interested in continuing his athletic career; first though, Anderson is focused on carrying the hockey team deep into the postseason after his Copper Kings fell in the postseason's first round last winter to Houghton and then watched neighbor Hancock emerge from their Regional to win its first MHSAA championship since 1999.

Coach Dan Giachino said: “Rory is important to our team for many reasons. Not only has he been our leading scorer for the past two seasons, but he has been one of our best defensive forwards. Rory's line is consistently matched up against the opposing team's top line, and he continually does an excellent job keeping the opposing top line off the scoresheet. Rory's work ethic is always apparent at practice, and he has learned over the past two years that he has the ability to push his linemates with his hard work. … Off the ice, Rory is 3.0 student and has a great presence in the locker room. As a junior, he was named assistant captain, and this year, he was a natural fit to be our captain. Our coaching staff is always pushing kids to be 'quietly confident' in their abilities, and Rory has been a player that brings that to the locker room each day.”

Performance Point: “It was all around a good weekend,” Anderson said. “Everyone was playing hard … it wasn’t just me doing everything, but my players around me, my teammates helping me out and me helping them out. (The highlight) I think was making the play for the go-ahead goal against Brighton, to make us go ahead 2-1, passing it over to Scotty Loukus. I got the puck in the defensive zone, and I thought to myself that I needed to get it out. I chipped it to Scotty, he gave it back to me, and I saw the open ice. I was patiently waiting on the side boards, and then I gave it back to him.”

Handing off success: “There’s quite a few guys who also played football, and after the season we had there on the football team we carried a lot of momentum going into hockey season. It's just the things we do in football, the leadership and everything, that carries over and that’s what we want. To be honest, some of us players didn’t really (expect the football success) at the beginning of the season, but once we started going, we got a good idea we could go far, and that’s what we did. I think we could have a really good (hockey) run, for my last year. We have a good team.”

Captain Anderson: “It’s a big role to fill. With all the guys there, all the seniors there, and a new (captain) that’s picked, it’s tough. But it’s fun too. I keep all the guys together, just being vocal on the benches and in the locker room and during practice. (It’s) just talking, helping the kids who it might be their first year there.”

Bigger, faster, smarter: “During the offseason, I put in a lot of work lifting, and I think I’ve gotten a lot faster and smarter. Just watching other people, watching what they do at higher levels, and carrying that to my level, I think it’s made me smarter – what to do without the puck, moving around to get open so other people can get me the puck, and then when I have the puck where to skate and what to do with it. I really like watching (the Washington Capitals’) T.J. Oshie. The things he does, he’s a big hitter, he can play the body and he also does a lot of stuff with the puck.”

If Hancock can do it: “After watching them go on their state run, we just kinda figured if they can do it, we can do it. Watching them go to the Finals, it’s a local team and you’re always paying attention to what other teams around the area are doing. I know just about every single one of them, and I think most people wanted to see them go far.

- Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Every week during the 2016-17 school year, Second Half and the Michigan National Guard will recognize a “Performance of the Week" from among the MHSAA's 750 member high schools.

The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, and responds as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer. This training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our nation's freedom or protect lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster. 

Previous 2016-17 honorees:
Dec. 15: Demetri Martin, Big Rapids basketball Read
Dec. 1: Rodney Hall, Detroit Cass Tech football Read
Nov. 24: Ally Cummings, Novi volleyball Read
Nov. 17: Chloe Idoni, Fenton volleyball Read
Nov. 10: Adelyn Ackley, Hart cross country Read
Nov. 3: Casey Kirkbride, Mattawan soccer – Read
Oct. 27: Colton Yesney, Negaunee cross country Read
Oct. 20: Varun Shanker, Midland Dow tennis Read
Oct. 13: Anne Forsyth, Ann Arbor Pioneer cross country – Read
Oct. 6: Shuaib Aljabaly, Coldwater cross country – Read
Sept. 29: Taylor Seaman, Brighton swimming & diving – Read
Sept. 22: Maggie Farrell, Battle Creek Lakeview cross country – Read
Sept. 15: Franki Strefling, Buchanan volleyball – Read
Sept. 8: Noah Jacobs, Corunna cross country – Read

PHOTOS: (Top) Calumet's Rory Anderson prepares to receive the puck during a game last season. (Middle) Anderson looks for an opening after taking a hand-off during football season this fall. (Photos courtesy of the Calumet athletic department.)