No ordinary Joe
St. Catharines Falcons coach Tyler Bielby approached Joe Colasurdo as he stepped on the ice for practice earlier this week at Jack Gatecliff Arena and delivered some big news.
The second-year coach named the veteran defenceman captain of the Falcons for the 2021/22 season and the 20-year-old St. Catharines native couldn’t be happier.
“It’s awesome,” Colasurdo smiled. “We’ve had an awesome player wear a C every year and it means a lot.”
Colasurdo had in inkling he might be in line for the captaincy after a series of discussions with Bielby in the off-season.
“We talked a bit throughout the summer and I knew I was in my fourth year and expected to have a big leadership role on the team,” Colasurdo said. “I didn’t know what it was, but I felt comfortable talking to him.”
Bielby feels Colasurdo checks all the boxes needed to be a captain.
“There are a lot of moving pieces. He’s our longest returning guy at four years, but whether he’s been here one year or four years, he just has the character to be able to take on a role like this,” Bielby said. “Being a local guy, being involved in the community as well, I thought that was important.
“The way he carries himself day in and day out, there are no days off, and that makes for a great captain.”
Colasurdo played one game for the Niagara Falls Canucks as a rookie in 2017 before joining the Falcons full-time the next season where his work ethic and willingness to do whatever it took to help the team win quickly became evident.
“We learn in life by experiences and everything we do and deal with and sometimes we’re shaped by how we respond. I think everything Joe has done on the ice over the years has made him the player he is today,” Bielby said. “Whether he was maybe a little undersized when he entered the league and had to get in and get out with pucks and learn how to be quick on his feet and have a good first pass, I think he has taken all of those experiences and brought them to the arena.”
Colasurdo, who is in his third year of the Sport Management program at Brock, feels he can learn from Kyle West, Curtis Egert and Brandon Caruso who preceded him as captain.
“Each of them, the way they carried themselves and showed up to the rink everyday, it didn’t matter. It was come to work every day,” he said. “Coming to work everyday and helping with the younger guys and teaching them if you do that, you can get better and you have to do that to get better. Helping them get better is a huge, import aspect of our organization.”
Colasurdo can’t wait to get the season started, especially after missing all of last year due to the COVID pandemic
“Everybody is excited. Nothing compares to a Friday night here,” he said. “I love this rink. I wish we could keep playing here. It sucks but I’m excited for fans to be back in this rink, nice and small, and pack it with people hopefully.”
Bielby, who said he will name the assistant captains in the coming days, feels the team is ready to start the season.
“We’re close,” he said. “We’re preparing as a team and going through line rushes and making sure our systems and structure and the processes are in place.
“We have a couple of decisions to make over the next couple of days so we can move forward but they’re not big numbers by any means.”
Falcon facts: The Falcons have signed former Niagara IceDogs goaltender Andrew MacLean . . . St. Catharines visit Niagara Falls Friday, Welland Sunday and are home to the Canucks Friday, Sept. 17 to round out exhibition play. The Falcons open the regular season Friday, Sept. 24 at home versus the Caledonia Corvairs.
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