FRASER, Mich. – Hard to believe, but training camp for the Metro Jets is right around the corner.
And in the rear-view mirror is last season’s record-breaking 47-0 regular-season mark and subsequent ride and return to the Silver Cup National Championship finals.
Last season also marked a third straight East Division title for the Jets.
That said, the Jets returning veterans are anxious to see what the new crop of talent can bring to Fraser Hockeyland.
“I’m excited for camp just to get all the guys back together and see some new faces,” said forward Connor Inger, whose overtime goal in the deciding Game 3 against Pittsburgh in the East Division finals sent the Jets to the Silver Cup. “Excited just to get the ball rolling with all of them again. Last year was a great year, but I think Metro has a development and advancement tradition and I think when you instill that into the new guys and the returners lead by example, the wins will come for another successful season.”
Trevor Momot, who showed his versatility last year by playing both offense and defense as a rookie in the NA3HL, wants to use last season as motivation for the 2017-18 campaign.
“I’m very excited for this upcoming season,” said Momot. “There’s going to be a lot of new faces around the organization and it’s just a great opportunity to meet some new friends and teammates along the way. Coming off of the season we had last year is pretty hard to forget, but what we want is the Silver Cup and we didn’t bring it home with us last year. It’s time to get back to the grindstone and try to bring home the hardware at the end of the season.
“I have no doubt in my mind with (assistant coaches) Jamie (Lovell) and Randy (Wilson) and ‘Q’ (head coach Justin Quenneville) orchestrating the Jets, we will have great success.”
The Jets have qualified for the Silver Cup three straight seasons and even with the annual turnover and player advancements that the Jets experience each offseason, Quenneville is looking to camp Aug. 23-25 to shore up the roster.
“This is part of the process every year,” Quenneville said. “We are very excited about the players we started signing during the season and very pleased with the pre-draft camp. I would say it was by far our most competitive camp thus far and a great opportunity for us to secure additional talent. Even though you see the advancement of so many players every year, it’s rewarding to see players who are ready to make the commitment to our program and partake in our tradition. We feel that our mix of veteran returners and some of the young talent coming in, you’ll see an even faster group than last year. Our staff’s plan this offseason has paid off and we are all eager to get on the ice to start.”
Returning defenseman Robby Flannery, now entering his third season with Metro, reiterated that last year is in the past and the 2017-18 season is approaching quickly.
“I’m really excited for camp,” Flannery said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the new talent and getting back together with the guys that are coming back from last year. I think you just want to continue to build on last year’s success, look at the things that worked and didn’t work and go from there and focus on the upcoming season.”
The new season starts Friday, Sept. 8, as the Jets travel to Lansing to play the Lansing Wolves, who played the past few years in Battle Creek as the West Michigan Wolves.
Metro then hosts the Wolves for the home opener the following evening at Fraser Hockeyland.
The Cincinnati Thunder then come to Fraser for a two-game set Sept. 16-17 and the North Iowa Bulls travel to Fraser for a pair from Sept. 30-Oct. 1.