It wasn’t exactly the prettiest goal scored in the long, fruitful career of Jake Cox, but his 100th NA3HL goal showed all the great qualities that allowed him to survive and thrive at the junior level: hard-working, always ready to pounce, and positive.
With 4:36 gone in the first period of a game against the Rochester Ice Hawks, Cox’s line for the St. Louis Jr. Blues gained sustained pressure in the visiting end and had several great looks at goal, one of them coming from the Columbus, Ga. native but missing wide. However, after a good keep at the blue line the puck filtered below the goal line, where line-mate Ivan Galaguzov found Cox waiting in front of the net: the 5’9”, 175 lb left-hander made no mistake, and entered the history books as the first player in NA3HL league history to score 100 or more goals in a career. It also capped off a historic February for Cox: back on February 4th against Atlanta, he scored his 98th career tally, breaking the record for individual NA3HL goals.
“When we picked up Jake earlier this season, we knew we were getting a great player who could score at will and anchor a top line,” said Jr. Blues head coach Chris Flaugher. “We’re incredibly proud of the year he’s had, and cannot wait to see what the rest of the season brings for him.”
Cox began his NA3HL career back in 2014-15 with the Point Mallard Ducks, where he remained until earlier this season when St. Louis acquired him in a trade. In his four NA3HL seasons, he has played in 171 games, adding 121 assists, and playing in three Top Prospects Tournaments. In addition, he began the 2017-18 campaign with the NAHL’s Shreveport Mudbugs, where he suited up for four games.
Cox’s former coach with the Alabama-based Ducks, Tom Winkler, sent his congratulations, adding that “Jake is one of the most driven players I have ever coached. He wants to get better everyday, nobody practices harder than he does. He focuses on all the little things that make a huge difference in games. I am not at all surprised by his scoring success. He plays the game the right way, when you do that you get rewarded.”