Burton 40: Joern Hornhardt
For most players, the hundreds upon hundreds of games played by Joern Hornhardt would be an amazing accomplishment, and, yet somehow it seems low. In fact, it's downright crazy to think he only has three seasons with more than 50 games played. Of course, you can also look at it this way: he has two seasons with over 120 games played. Though there have been lulls in the Hornman's appearances during the middle years, and even now (his infamous citing of 'family reasons' almost a running joke at this point), there is no debate: there would be no Burton Hockey without the Jūrgen Hermann. 'Ah, yes!'
Joern moved to Burton from Germany as a wide-eyed, frail-looking 14-year-old in a St. Louis Cardinals hat and denim jacket. Despite barely having seen a hockey game, somehow he had already years before settled upon his beloved Calgary Flames. To this day, his sporting life remains centred upon his beloved Cowtown heroes ('Iginla, SHOOT!'). He was accepted rather quickly into the Burton inner circle and was indeed one of the infamous Burton School crew that predated Burton Hockey. When it came time for the formalisation of the league, he was the main organiser and most valuable player of the first year. Relocating to Vancouver separated him from BUSH and made him miss most of 2003 and 2004, which helped motivate him to co-found Vancouver Roller Hockey as a counterpart league. As one of the absolute core players at Ambleside, he ranks third all-time in VRH games played.
Throughout the history of Burton Hockey, Joern has split his time between skates and goal, increasingly gravitating towards goal as time goes on. In both roles, Joern is one of the most erratic players in either league. Can anyone else claim both an .889 and a .611 in goal? Joern treats hockey either like a Sunday drive or a demolition derby; his on-off style produces wide variances in his statistical output. Joern doesn't care about those kinds of things, however; he simply judges a session by how much fun he has playing with his friends and people who enjoy the game for what it should be - fun! Joern's affable demeanor, his willingness to take one for the team and suit up when there's a goalie shortage, and his trademark unselfish play on skates (few players are as evenhanded when it comes to goals and assists as Jūrgen) make his presence an integral part of the Burton Hockey experience. The existence of both BUSH and VRH are unthinkable and impossible without him. Joern, we salute you as one of the Burton 40.
Awards: Most Valuable Player - 2000; Most Sportsmanlike Player - 2000, 2001; Dual Threat of the Year - 2001; 2nd All-Star - 2000, 2001, 2001g, 2008; Most Dedicated Team - 2001, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008.