WATERFORD, Mich. – For the fourth time this season, a Metro Jets’ standout has earned a call-up to a North American Hockey League team.
This time, goaltender Jake Stephan has been summoned by the Michigan Warriors and could see game action this weekend as the Flint, Mich.-based Warriors hit the road to play the Janesville Jets.
“This is a great opportunity for Jake and we wish him the best of luck this weekend,” said Metro head coach Justin Quenneville. “Jake has worked hard and is continuing to develop his game. He has showcased his abilities at times that could be the making of solidified NAHL goaltender and this opportunity is one step closer to that potential.”
Stephan joins forwards Kevin Shand (Springfield Jr. Blues) and Matt Dempsey (Keystone Ice Miners) and defenseman and captain David Chavis II (Minnesota Wilderness) as NAHL call-ups during the 2014-15 season.
“I don't think there's a better team in the NA3HL to prepare you for the next level than Metro,” said Stephan, a 19-year-old from Eagle River, Wis. “They have great coaching that play a great system. It has also helped having other goalies (Kam Limburg, Stephen Wroe) alongside you pushing to get to the next level because it pushes me.”
With the Jets, Stephan is 9-6-0 with a 2.77 goals-against average, a .900 save percentage and a shutout to kick start his NA3HL career on Sept. 6 against Cleveland when he stopped all 20 Jr. Lumberjacks’ shots as the Jets cruised to a 5-0 win on opening night.
This weekend, the Warriors play Janesville Friday and Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the Janesville Ice Arena, about four hours from Eagle River.
“Janesville is a very skilled team,” noted Stephan. “I just need to go in there be confident in my abilities and believe in myself and play my game like I know I'm capable of.”
Metro (15-12-0, fourth in East Division) travels to Pittsburgh for two games with the first-place Vengeance this weekend. Game times are 8 p.m. Saturday night and then 11:40 a.m. on Sunday.