Stirling everything a leader should be

WATERFORD, MIMatt Stirling was signed by the Metro Jets last summer to be part of a defensive line that would play against the opponent’s top line.

But then a funny thing happened – the line Stirling was put on with Tommy Kilgore (Pinckney, Mich.) and Mike Moroso (Macomb, Mich.) became the Jets’ scoring machine. Heading into this weekend, the trio has accounted for 22 goals – more than one-third of the team’s 51 goals.

“Everything just seemed to click when (Metro head) coach (Jason Cirone) put me with those guys,” said Stirling. “I knew Tommy from my high school days and I was already was good friends with him. I met Moroso when the Jets brought him in. We have had good chemistry as I have got to know them both better and how they both play. Both of these guys have been key to our line’s success so far.”

According to Stirling, being a top point-getter is a role he’s been accustomed to before.

“In the high school days, that's what I was on the team for and what my high school (Dexter (Mich.) High School) expected of me,” explained Stirling. “For this year, however, I just want to do whatever it takes to help the team win. If being a go-to guy for the Jets is what they need, I'll do it, but to me, doing whatever to help the team win is first priority.”

Named an alternate captain this year, Stirling earned the confidence of the coaches even before the season started and that has carried over into the regular season.

“He leads by example with his work ethic,” said Cirone. “The guys see how hard he works and it’s hard not to follow him. He’s a level-headed kid and that’s what you want in a leader. You want a kid that doesn’t get too excited when things are going good and doesn’t get too down when things aren’t going so well. He’s done everything we’ve asked of him this season.”

Stirling wasn’t sure where he would play this season after his high school season ended, but a visit to a game from Jets’ head scout Tim Ross swayed his decision to come to the Jets and play in the Central States Hockey League.