WATERFORD, MI – The Metro Jets have jumped out of the gates to start the second half of the season.
The Jets swept the Michigan Mountain Cats in dominating fashion on home ice last weekend at Lakeland Arena. With the pair of wins, the Jets are now 13-4-0-0 at home and have won four straight since coming back from the holiday break.
"I thought our team played well," said Metro coach Jason Cirone. "We stuck to the game plan and were very persistent all weekend. We played a team that has run into some injury problems, but it's a team like that that you can't let have any life or they'll make you pay."
Saturday night, the Jets used seven different goal-scorers and a 13-save shutout from Dillon Kelley in a 7-0 win over the Mountain Cats.
With Devin Williams up with the OHL's Erie Otters the rest of the season, Kelley assumes the role of the No. 1 goaltender with junior veteran Eric Trunick serving as a capable backup.
"I'm very comfortable with Dillon Kelley in goal for us," Cirone said. "Trunick will be a good influence on Dillon and has already shown to be a great teammate. Dillon has been playing extremely well, but if he falters, I'm very comfortable with putting Trunick in there as well."
Mike MacKinnon had a goal and two assists for Metro, while Steve Klisz, Josh Beleski, Doug Andrews and captain Tommy Kilgore all had a goal and an assist.
Justin Shureb and Matt Stirling also scored and Chris Hellebuyck and Matt Stemkoski each contributed two assists apiece.
The Jets peppered Michigan goalie Schuyler Ferguson with 55 shots.
Sunday afternoon, Metro put 65 shots on Jordan Wood in taking an 8-2 victory.
Beleski scored three goals with a helper, while MacKinnon potted a pair and Klisz, Shureb and Adam Reid (first NA3HL goal) added singles to back Kelley’s 19 saves in goal.
Andrews tacked on five assists in the game. Hellebuyck and John Baker added two helpers each.
The Jets (19-11-0-1) travel to Pittsburgh this weekend for two games with the Jr. Penguins. Game time is 7:20 p.m. Saturday night and then a noon start Sunday.
"Pittsburgh is behind us in the standings and we'd like to keep them there," said Cirone. "I think they're aware of what we'll bring and what kind of a team we are. I don't think we're a secret any more. I've said all year that our division (East) is the best in the entire league and any team can win on any given night.
“The kids know what I want and what I expect and now it's up to them to go out and keep winning hockey games."
Three Jets made commitments for next season this week as Beleski signed a tender agreement with the NAHL’s Jamestown Ironmen, defenseman Will Shier tendered with the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings, also of the NAHL, and forward Branden Morganroth committed to play for Oakland University’s ACHA Division I team.
More details on these commitments can be found at www.metrojetshockey.com.
Trunick, a 19-year-old Commerce Township native, played for Metro last year after an early-season trade from Cleveland and was 12-17-0 with a 5.04 goals-against average and a .872 save percentage.
On Jan. 14, the Jets released forward Tim Wlodkowski (Katy, Tex.) and he was subsequently picked up by Battle Creek. Wlodkowski had a goal and four points in 20 games this season after being drafted by Metro in the 19th round (292nd overall) of the NA3HL draft last June.
Forward Cameron Bruff scored his first NA3HL goal in the Jets’ 8-2 win at Battle Creek on Jan. 8.
Andrews and Bekeski were named the 1st and 2nd Stars, respectively, by the NA3HL for the week ending Jan. 15.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Barry Haber, one of the goalies on Metro’s 2002 Junior B national championship team, owns his own remodeling company in Tallahassee, Fla.– Haber Remodeling.
Photo/Andy Grossman/Detailed Images