WATERFORD, MI – Chad Frost was one of the younger players with the Metro Jets last season, but jump ahead to the 2012-13 season and the Clarkston native is now one of the Jets’ veteran skaters.
Frost, who turns 19 on Dec. 21, has realized how fast a player’s role can change from year to year.
“Last season, we had a lot of talent and a lot of guys to look up to that helped me grow as a hockey player,” said Frost, a defenseman. “I’m a vet this year and now I have the responsibility as a role model this year. I make sure that I show up to practice ready to go and keep in top shape so the guys look up to me.”
Coming into the 2011-12 season from high school hockey, Frost noted that Junior A hockey in the North American 3 Hockey League was nothing like high school puck.
”I learned very quickly that junior hockey is a big commitment and you’ve got to use your time wisely and effectively so you don’t drain yourself; it’s a long season," Frost said. "This season, since I’ve been in the league a year, I try and help teaching the younger guys the ropes and rules of the team. I try and lead by example.
“I’ve also learned that playing for (head coach) Jason (Cirone) is tough at times, but I think playing for any coach can be that way. He can really get the best out of his players when he needs to and that’s what a good coach does.”
One of Frost’s teammates last season and this season, forward Travis Hargett, is also a Clarkston native and fellow 2012 graduate of Clarkston High School.
“Hargett and I go way back,” Frost said. “I played high school hockey with him our sophomore year and I’ve known him since I was in elementary school. We look out for each other and it’s nice to have someone like that on the team that you’ve known for so long.”
As for his future, Frost has one year of junior eligibility after this season and intends on using it.
“Obviously, along with everyone else playing hockey at my age, the dream is to play in the NHL, but I really want to make it to the NAHL or play college hockey in Minnesota,” said Frost. “I’m going to keep training hard on the off-season and during the season as well. It’s important to eat healthy and keep working out as hard is at it may be sometimes during the season.”
LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD
The Jets played a home-and-home set with the Michigan Mountain Cats last weekend that saw the home team come out on top in each contest.
The Mountain Cats scored three goals in the third period and held on to beat the Jets 4-3 Saturday night at the Great Lakes Sports City in Fraser.
Jets' captain Matt Stirling had a goal and an assist, Zack MacKay and Alex Holm also scored and Andrew Palushaj recorded two assists.
Alex Nedeljkovic suffered his first loss with the Jets, but did make 29 saves in goal.
Sunday afternoon, Palushaj scored two power-play goals in the third period as the Jets defeated the Mountain Cats 3-1 at Lakeland Arena.
Jeff Monfils added a power-play goal and an assist and Stirling recorded two assists in the win.
“We didn’t play our best last weekend against Michigan,” said Stirling. “We were all over the place and should have played better to get the four points. Two points is good, but the four is what we need to keep pace in our division.”
The Jets went 3-for-6 with the man-advantage and Nedeljkovic made 34 saves between the posts, allowing just a Kade Morrison goal early in the third period.
Metro (11-12-0-0) travels to Cleveland this weekend for a two-game set with the East Division's first-place Jr. Lumberjacks.
“This weekend will be tough – there is no doubt about that,” added Stirling. “We need to play good, smart hockey to get the much-needed four points out of this weekend. We need the points to keep pace in our division and hopefully get on a winning streak here.”
Defensemen Aaron Bessey and Evan Bennett, who made their Jets’ debut at the NA3HL Showcase in Blaine, Minn., two weekends ago, have been reassigned back to their Midget teams – Bessey to Omaha AAA Hockey of the High Performance Hockey League and Bennett to the West Michigan Hounds of the North American Prospects Hockey League.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Goaltender Colin Greeley, who played for the Jets as a 16-year-old in the 2008-09 season, played the past two seasons in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League before deciding to focus on school and work this season.
Currently at Lansing Community College, Greeley, a Howell native, is looking at transferring to Michigan State or Grand Valley State next year and may give the ACHA teams there a shot.
Greeley came to the Jets after being selected by the Ontario Hockey League’s Saginaw Spirit in the fourth round of the 2008 OHL draft.