FRASER, Mich. – The Metro Jets suffered a weekend sweep at Fraser Hockeyland after dropping a 5-3 decision to the North Iowa Bulls Sunday afternoon.
It’s the first time in the Jets’ three-season history on home ice that the team has lost two straight games.
Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville said the weekend wasn’t necessarily a reality check, but more of a learning experience for his club.
“We have a young group, but don’t get me wrong, we knew we’d have some challenges this weekend, but breaks seemed go their way and they didn’t for us,” Quenneville said. “You have to be good to be lucky and lucky to be good and North Iowa is a much more experienced team with a lot of older players – they are a very good hockey team. We made some mistakes and they capitalized.”
Aaron Shahin’s goal at 11:36 of the first period for Metro tied the game 1-all going into the second period.
North Iowa then scored two goals in a span of 1:19 from Jake Joyaux and Dominic Skrelja to go up 3-1 before George Hansen’s power-play goal at 15:53 of the second period brought the Jets to within a goal.
Jets starting goalie Brian Tallieu (pictured) was yanked after North Iowa’s third goal at 5:34 of the second after making nine saves on 12 shots. Andrew Kormos came in and stopped 16 of 18 the rest of the way.
Skrelja added an insurance marker at 19:35 for the Bulls to send the visitors into the locker room up 4-2 heading into the final 20 minutes.
North Iowa extended the lead at 11:43 of the third period on an Isaac Baron breakaway and then Metro’s leading scorer Connor Inger scored at 19:11 for the 5-3 final.
Colin Cain made 28 saves for his second straight win in the North Iowa crease.
“We have to be able to create our own luck and create our own bounces and we didn’t do that this weekend,” said Quenneville. “It definitely wasn’t from a lack of effort. I think it was that maybe some of our players have a little soul searching to do. They’re young in a Metro Jets uniform right now and I’m assuming they’re going to be ready to come back and work this week and learn from this weekend.”
The Jets host the Pittsburgh Vengeance this coming Saturday night at 7 p.m. and then host the Toledo Cherokee Sunday at 11:30 a.m. as the first game in an abbreviated NA3HL East Division Showcase at Fraser Hockeyland. The Lansing Wolves will “host” Pittsburgh in the second game at 2 p.m.
All games will be on www.hockeytv.com.
“It’s back to square one every week for us,” Quenneville said. “We focus on the next thing, turn the page and move on. Pittsburgh has a good team and just got their stud goalie (Joel DeSimone) back from the NAHL, so that’ll be another tough game. Toledo is always scrappy and will be a tough game.
“I’m glad we had this experience this weekend. It’s early in the year and we know we have a lot of things to iron out.”