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MJDP sweeps Midwest, advances to play Decatur for USPHL Nationals berth

By Matt Mackinder, 03/01/20, 3:15PM EST


FRASER, Mich. – The MJDP has advanced to the second round of the USPHL playoffs after sweeping the Midwest Blackbirds in two straight games over the weekend at Fraser Hockeyland.

Next up is a weekend road series against the Decatur Blaze with a berth to USPHL Nationals at stake.

“We dictated the play (against Midwest), did our job, got the wins,” said Metro Jets associate head coach Jamie Lovell. “It doesn’t matter whether you win big or you win close. In the playoffs, you’ve just got to win games.”

Friday afternoon in a 6-1 win, Mitch Forton scored twice, Garrick Smith and Bradley Scott each had a goal and an assist and Ethan Ryan finished with 20 saves as the MJDP outshot the Blackbirds 64-21.

Nick Beeman and Garrett Benoit added goals and Logan Davis tacked on a pair of assists in the win.

Then Sunday afternoon, Derek Dreher went for a goal and two assists as the MJDP scored another 6-1 victory.

Brayden Tayles notched two goals, while Benoit and Dylan Tegtmeyer posted a goal and an assist apiece.

“We just got pucks deep, got pucks on net,” said Dreher. “That third period, we wore them down and just kept getting pucks on net.”

Jake Aslanian also scored in the win and Michael Paul earned the win in net with a 13-save outing.

The MJDP outshot Midwest 50-14.

“We’re rolling and we just need to keep it going,” Forton said. “Just keep everything simple.”

The best-of-three series with Decatur is scheduled for Friday at 6 p.m. Eastern, Saturday at 8:30 p.m. and Sunday (if necessary) at 1:15 p.m.

“It’s a tough building to play in and they’ve got a really good top line,” said Lovell. “If we can do a job on that line and get our other guys to get pucks deep, get pucks on net, I really think this team is doing a much better job in the playoffs right now.

“I’m excited for this group.”

The Jets were idle last weekend and will open the playoffs this weekend at home against the Lake Erie Bighorns. Game times are Friday at 4 p.m., and then Saturday at noon and Sunday (if necessary) also at noon.

All games will be streamed on with live updates on the USPHL app.