Only a week after committing to play Division I hockey for the Ferris State University Bulldogs, Cooper Zech has been called up to the United States Hockey League. While staying a Jack, Cooper is now becoming a Muskegon Lumberjack, instead of a Jackalope.
“When a player gets called up the USHL, there’s a chance you’re going to lose him,” says Jackalopes head coach, Greg Gatto. “He’s been our MVP all year, but it’s good for him. It’s tough when you lose a top player. Our job is to develop to the next level and hopefully things will reciprocate down the road.”
The Jackalopes had a week off last week, allowing the players to head home for a couple of days. During his “time off”, Cooper was called upon by the Lumberjacks for a three-game stint. During the weekend series against the Dubuque Fighting Saints, Cooper played in all three games, acquiring no points, two penalty minutes, and a minus two on the weekend.
While the stats aren’t quite what you’d expect, Cooper ran the power play unit and played a lot of the time. The 5’7, 155 pound defenseman was up to the challenge, doing what he did in Odessa; running the plays and hip checking anyone he can.
Zech has had a great start to the season, leading the team with 16 points and 14 assists. Cooper is also tied for the lead amongst all defensemen in points and assists.
As only a ’98, Cooper came into the league last year as one of the youngest, but has turned himself into one of the best. Cooper tallied eight goals and 17 assists in his first season, earning him honors on the All-Rookie 1st Team. Zech’s accomplishment at such a young was the first for a Jack to earn such an honor.