WATERFORD, MI – Travis Hargett is one year older and one year wiser.
After playing for the Metro Jets as a 16-year-old rookie last season, the Clarkston native returned this season and has applied what he took away from his first year into a consistent second season in Waterford.
“This season, I definitely feel that I'm picking up where I left off and that I needed no adjustment compared to last year,” said Hargett. “I feel that my on-ice awareness and knowing where I need to be has improved the most. At the beginning of last year, I felt helpless in a way until I caught up to speed. I also feel my skill set has improved this year.”
Hargett has four goals and 14 points in 30 games this year, compared to just seven points in 40 games all of last year.
“I feel that I've always been the presence on the ice that skates hard and shoots the puck as hard as I can when I get the chance,” explained Hargett. “I also want to be the guy who makes a hit so someone can pick up the puck and then I can drive to the net for a rebound.”
And for someone who doesn’t turn 18 until May, Hargett is a veteran on the team, but not one of the older players.
“I’m still the youngest forward on the team and I'm not the person to order people around, but my role is an energy line guy that makes plays,” Hargett said. “I came back this year because I love the game and because I know I can develop here to get to the next level.”
As for moving on, the Jets have seen several players over the last couple weeks make commitments for next season. Hargett wants to see his name added to that list and knows it won’t be easy,
”I think the No. 1 thing that I need to improve on to get to the next level is my skating,” admitted Hargett. “If you can’t skate well, you can’t play well.
”My goals for the future are to excel as best as I can and to go as far as I can in the future.”
LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD
The Jets split on the road last weekend with the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks, who entered the weekend second in the East Division.
Saturday night, Metro blew a two-goal lead in the third period, but came back to beat the Jr. Lumberjacks 4-3 after a nine-round shootout.
Justin Shureb scored the deciding goal in the shootout for the Jets.
In regulation, Steve Klisz scored twice with an assist, Matt Stemkoski had a goal and a helper, Mike MacKinnon two assists and Dillon Kelley made 36 saves in goal.
Klisz and Stemkoski scored two goals apiece, but it wasn't enough as the Jets fell to Cleveland 7-4 Sunday afternoon.
Stemkoski added a pair of assists for a four-point game and Kelley made 26 saves between the pipes for Metro.
The Jets (20-14-0-1) play just one game this weekend, welcoming Cleveland to Lakeland Arena on Saturday night for an 8 p.m. puck drop.
Two former Jets were in the news recently playing at higher levels.
Goalie Devin Williams, who started this season in Waterford, earned his first Ontario Hockey League win last Saturday night in his first start for the Erie Otters. Williams made 36 saves in Erie’s 7-4 win in Sudbury.
Williams, a 16-year-old from Saginaw, went 9-9-0 with a 3.88 goals-against average and a .896 save percentage with the Jets.
In the North American Hockey League, forward Mike Moroso was named to the NAHL Top Prospects Tournament and will play for Team North later this month at the Troy Sports Center.
Moroso leads the Port Huron Fighting Falcons in scoring this season with 34 points (13 goals, 21 assists) through 43 games.
Last season, the 20-year-old Macomb native was second on the Jets with 20 goals and was third overall in team scoring with 36 points.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Dave Hague, a defenseman who played for the Jets during the 1998-99 season, has been the head coach at Oxford High School for the past nine seasons.
After playing for the Jets, the 32-year-old Lake Orion native skated a season in the North American Hockey League for the St. Louis Sting, putting up five assists in 26 games in 1999-2000.
Hague had several colleges after him, but concussion issues forced him to retire at the age of 20.
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