WATERFORD, Mich. – The Metro Jets jumped out to a perfect 2-0 record after the first weekend of North American 3 Hockey League play Sept. 6-7, but have since dropped their next four games.
The Jets were swept in a home-and-home with Toledo Sept. 12-13 and then lost both in Pittsburgh this past weekend.
Granted, none of the losses were blowouts, but Jets’ coach Justin Quenneville knows he has a talented roster and expects more out of his group.
“Those two wins to start the season meant nothing and if anything, it set us back a couple games because our guys got complacent,” said Quenneville. “Winning at any level is difficult and our veteran players will have to be better before anything. It’s still a long season and the recent games could have easily been different if we just showed up. Competing is not enough – buying in and building is more important. These kids won’t be here long if they don’t do either of those. Again, it’s still early in the season to determine anything, but one thing is for sure – the Metro Jets will be fine and will head in the right direction.”
Metro hosts Pittsburgh this weekend at Lakeland Arena.
“I’ve seen a lot of good things out of our guys, but we are nowhere near our potential,” Quenneville added. “You’re only as good as your last game and this weekend, we’ll have to dictate that right from the start, right from the drop of the puck.
“It’s up to our guys to come out and respond.”
LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD
Pittsburgh topped the Jets by scores of 5-3 and 3-2 last weekend at the Blade Runners USA complex.
Saturday night, newly-signed Jets’ goalie Kam Limburg made 22 saves and Cody Jones, Devin Kelly and Matt Dempsey scored.
Then Sunday afternoon, Kelly and Zach Koonce scored and Jake Stephan stopped 19 shots between the pipes, including a third-period penalty shot.
This weekend, Pittsburgh visits for a pair of games in Waterford. Game times are slated for 7:50 p.m. Saturday night and then 11:50 a.m. on Sunday.
All games are available on www.fasthockey.com.
The Jets released goaltender Ryan VanderWoude last week and signed Limburg prior to the Pittsburgh road trip.
Limburg, a 19-year-old Howell, Mich., native, was a late cut this season of the NAHL’s Springfield Jr. Blues after playing the 2013-14 campaign for the Jets, where he went 10-10-0 with a 3.05 goals-against average, a .896 save percentage and one shutout. He also saw action in one game for Springfield on a call-up basis late in the year.
VanderWoude, an 18-year-old Grand Rapids, Mich., product, did not play for the Jets this season.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Oakland University has always been a favored destination of Metro players once they finish their junior careers and this season is no different.
Former Jets’ forwards Doug Andrews, Tommy Kilgore, Mike MacKinnon and Matt Stirling and defensemen John Baker, Derek Britton and Will Shier are on the Grizzlies’ ACHA Division I roster this year.
Kilgore (2011-12) and Stirling (2012-13) are former captains for the Jets.
In addition, ex-Jets’ forwards Chris Hellebuyck and Steve Wiechec play for the Oakland ACHA Division III squad.