New season, new player leadership.
Patrick Forde is not only the leading scorer on the Cochrane Generals but has been named captain of what he believes is a deep roster.
"Cochrane has done so much for me, so to be able to lead the team and hopefully to get some winning done this year is a huge honour. There's a lot of guys on the team that could be it. I think we have quite a good group of leaders, so it's special to be named one of them."
Alternate captains are Jordan Marks, Shane Benoit, and Tristan Ripplinger.
A General since the 2019-20 season, Forde has played with Marks and Benoit for the last two seasons. Ripplinger is a former Calgary Northstar, the same organization where Forde played his last five years of minor hockey.
He believes the Gens have the potential to go far this season.
"I have to say this is the deepest Gens team I've been a part of. I think we have four solid lines and three solid lines of D. So far, it's going well, being 5-0. I think there's still room to improve, but it looks like a great team."
"Going into every game, I'm very confident we can get the win. I think if we play our best, the skies the limit."
Forde thrives on stiff competition. He has no problem with the Gens being moved to the north division of the Heritage Junior Hockey League.
"I don't think there's a bad team in the north division. I think every game will be competitive, and I'm actually pleased about it. I like playing teams like Airdrie and Didsbury, they're always good games, and I'm looking forward to playing Red Deer as well, they seem pretty good."
As captain, his role is to make sure players are ready for every game and to not take their opponents too lightly, like, perhaps they did against the High River Flyers last Sunday.
"A big part is being the voice and reason and not getting too emotional. I think I've always been decent with that, like not getting too mad at the refs and at putting things into perspective."
He also believes it's important to put his all into every game and to lead by example.
In five games so far this season, he's done just that. He has 11 goals and seven assists for a league-leading 18 points.
When you add in the points of his linemates Dean Olenyk and Ripplinger, the count is 42 points. All three are in the top four in HJHL scoring.
Forde is 2 1/2 years into his education degree at the University of Calgary.
The Gens are in High River tonight for a rematch with the Flyers. They return home to the Cochrane Arena to play an afternoon game against the Medicine Hat Cubs. Puck drops at 2:30 p.m.