WATERFORD, MI – Myles Burrough was one of many players the Metro Jets scouted heavily last season and while he knew this was certainly the case, it helped Burrough’s decision as to where to play this season that much easier.
When he was offered a tender for the 2012-13 season, Burrough wasted little time putting his signature on it.
“I knew they had a little interest in me and I had talked to them a few times,” said Burrough. “I decide to sign the tender after I went and watched them play and learned more about the league. I knew they had a good team and coach (Jason Cirone).”
A 19-year-old defenseman from Metamora, Burrough has just one assist in 19 games thus far, but offense is not the name of the game for this defensive defenseman, who is also plus-5 on the year.
“My role with the team is to keep the puck out of the net,” stated Burrough. “I am happy with the way the season has gone so far. We have a young team and we are improving greatly. Everyone gets along and is very positive. I think my biggest adjustment has been to the speed of the game and time management.”
Making the jump from Midget AA hockey with the Mt. Clemens Wolves was a major leap, admitted Burrough. If not for his coach last season, he may not have been able to prepare for junior hockey.
“My long-term goals are to keep having fun and playing hockey as long as I can,” Burrough said. “My coach from last year, Andy Oleksy, got me into the right frame of mind to never give up and I think without him, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.”
LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD
The Jets traveled to the NA3HL Showcase at the Schwan Super Rink in Blaine, Minn., and came home with a shootout win and three losses to teams from the league’s Central and West Divisions.
Alexandria Blizzard goalie Kyle Miller stopped all 10 shots he faced to lead the Blizzard to a 2-0 win over the Jets last Friday night. Zach Hill and Bryce Mitzel scored for Alexandria.
For the Jets, Trevor Kalinowski finished with 46 saves in goal.
Metro suffered a second straight shutout Saturday night, losing 9-0 to the North Iowa Bulls.
John Forseth scored four goals for the Bulls and Matt Kroska tallied twice with two assists as Aaron Davis made 37 saves for the shutout.
Jets’ goalie Austin Julvezan made 54 saves in the loss.
Metro captain Matt Stirling scored twice in regulation and had the deciding goal in the shootout as the Jets picked up their first win on Sunday, a 4-3 decision over the Peoria Mustangs.
Jeff Monfils also scored for the Jets and Kalinowski made 41 saves in goal in addition to stopping all four Peoria shooters in the shootout.
Brennan Anderson had a goal and an assist for the Mustangs, while Matt Pinel stopped 34 shots between the pipes.
The St. Louis Jr. Blues defeated the Jets 6-2 Monday morning in the final game for both clubs at the showcase.
Stirling and Thomas Evans scored the Jets' goals, while Julvezan finished with 48 saves.
Doug Andrews assisted on both goals as well.
For St. Louis, Victor Gortz had two goals and an assist in the win.
The Jets (10-11-0-0) now get set to play a home-and-home series with the Michigan Mountain Cats this weekend. Saturday night's game is at the Great Lakes Sports City in Fraser at 6:45 p.m. with the second game scheduled for 2:50 p.m. at Lakeland Arena on Sunday afternoon.
At the showcase, the Jets acquired forward Michael Lawrence from the Granite City Lumberjacks, added 17-year-old defenseman Evan Bennett and 16-year-old defender Aaron Bessey and placed defenseman Derek Britton on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.
The 19-year-old Lawrence was drafted by Granite City in the 10th round of the 2012 NA3HL draft and is a 19-year-old Mattawan native. Bennett (Kalamazoo) and Bessey (Lansing) are both Michigan natives and made their Jets’ debuts at the showcase.
The NA3HL named Jets’ goalie Alex Nedeljkovic the Goaltender of the Month for November.
Nedeljkovic was in goal for all four of the Jets wins in November as he posted a perfect 4-0 record along with a .942 save percentage and a 2.00 goals-against average. After his four games with Metro, he was sent back to the Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers, where he started the season.
In the games that the 16-year-old Nedeljkovic didn’t play during the month, Metro was 0-3. In the games he did play, the Jets went 4-0.
“He was in our league to get some experience and he faced quite a few shots in the four games he played,” said Cirone. “I think our team fed off his confidence while he was here and everyone played a little more inspired. I think he brought a certain level of exposure to the team.”
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Forward Kevin Wittenberg, who played briefly with the Jets during the 2008-09 season, is now playing for the Vernon Hills Capitals of the Great Lakes Hockey League, a semi-pro league that has been in existence since 1937.
In the ’08-09 season, Wittenberg had a goal and an assist in 16 games with the Jets.