FRASER, Mich. – It’s always best to go with your gut feeling.
That’s what Kam Limburg did over the summer and he has no regrets on deciding to return to the Metro Jets for his third season with the North American 3 Hockey League club.
Limburg, who turned 20 on Aug. 29, faces some stiff competition from fellow 1995 birthyear goalie Trevor Kalinowski (who played for the Jets from 2012-14) and rookie Austin Kane.
The way Limburg looks at it, though, is that the internal competition is what’s best for the team.
“I think it will be great having ‘Kali’ and ‘Kaner’ as my partners this year,” Limburg said. “We all battle hard in practice and push each other to get better. I’ve always liked to have competition with my goalie partners because I like to look down the ice and see the other guy battling and know I have to be on top of my game.”
Two years ago, Limburg earned a call-up to the Springfield Jr. Blues of the North American Hockey League and now, with the impending season his last of junior eligibility, has his eye on college hockey.
He believes he can get there with a solid season for the Jets.
“Over the summer, I was skating and working out at the MAT (Michigan Athletic Training) with ‘Q’ (coach-GM Justin Quenneville) and (assistant coach) Jamie (Lovell) and after going to a couple of camps, it just made more and more sense to come back to the Jets where I have had success and most of all, a great experience and a lot of fun,” said Limburg, a Howell, Mich., native. “Looking to repeat the success from last year and even surpass it was the goal that was on my mind.”
Metro captured the East Division regular-season and playoff title last season and Limburg was a major cog for the Jets, posting a 14-6-0 record with three shutouts, a 2.76 GAA and a .907 save percentage.
“Kam came on strong the second half the year last year for us and put up big numbers his last 10 games,” explained Quenneville. “Naturally, we are glad to retain a No. 1 goalie this season and we will be looking to him for leadership and consistency. He has come a long way in the two seasons I have known him, and I am a believer in his abilities and would like to continue to help him achieve his goals.”
“Last season, I feel I evolved my game by improving my game management and also as I got older and more experienced, I felt more and more comfortable playing the big games and being the guy my teammates were looking for when we needed big saves,” Limburg added. “This season, my goal on a personal level is to have the best numbers in the league. I believe I am capable of that and I will push myself to achieve it.”
Limburg also said that the amenities at the Jets’ new home arena, Fraser Hockeyland, are top-notch.
“I look forward to the new locker room and having our workout facility (the MAT) right upstairs for our use,” said Limburg. “We have a great setup this year and it’s going great so far. I want us to be the best team in the league from the start of the season to the finish, ending with a championship win for the Metro Jets. We have a lot to be proud of from last season and that will help us be confident when we’re out on the ice.
“That being said, every season is a new season and it’s very important to not underestimate any teams and bring our best performances when we step on the ice.”
The Jets open defense of their East Division title on Sept. 12-13 with a two-game series in Pittsburgh – also the team Metro upended in the East finals last spring. After a game in Toledo on Sept. 18, the Jets open Fraser on Saturday, Sept. 19 with a 7:30 p.m. puck drop against the West Michigan Wolves.
Early bird season ticket plans are just $80, but the promotion only runs through Labor Day. More information at www.metrojetshockey.com.