Sunday, November 27, 2011

Klisz scores late, Jets hang on to top Toledo Sunday

WATERFORD, MI - Steve Klisz scored his team-best 13th goal of the season with six minutes left in the third period and the Metro Jets held on to defeat the Toledo Cherokee, 4-3, Sunday afternoon at Lakeland Arena.

Mike MacKinnon had given the Jets a 3-2 lead at 8:23 of the third, only to have Charles Kingston tie the game for Toledo 44 seconds later.

The Jets (11-8-0-0) played with a short bench after a handful of players were benched for arriving late to practice Saturday and defenseman Andrew Shalawylo left the game with an upper-body injury in the middle of the second period.

"We played with a skeleton crew and when guys are late getting to practice or miss practice, you don't play," Metro head coach Jason Cirone said. "I think that shows disrespect to teammates and me when that happens. I thought the kids that played today were unbelievable, especially our goalie (Dillon Kelley), who I think is finally recognizing what it takes to be a junior hockey player."

Kelley made 29 saves for his fourth win of the season, while Austyn Roudebush finished with 26 stops for Toledo.

Chris Hellebuyck and Josh Beleski scored the other Jets goals and captain Tommy Kilgore chipped in with two assists.

"We played the exact game we played last Wednesday night in Flint," said Cirone. "There was no panic and I thought we dominated for the first two periods and even when we took the lead in the third, I didn't think we played as well as we could have played."

The Jets are off until next Sunday when they travel to Darien, Ill., to play in the Combat Hockey NA3HL Showcase, starting a stretch of six games in eight days. Metro will play the Quad City Jr. Flames (Sun. Dec. 4, 4:30 p.m. CST), Peoria Mustangs (Mon. Dec. 5, 9:30 a.m.), Minnesota Flying Aces (Tues. Dec. 6, 12:30 p.m.) and North Iowa Bulls (Weds. Dec. 7, 11:30 a.m.) at the Darien Sportsplex.

"I think four wins is a realistic goal and I wouldn't want anything less," said Cirone. "Hopefully, our work ethic from the past two games will carry over into the showcase."

Metro will host the Queen City Steam Dec. 10-11 at Lakeland.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jets play well, but lose Thanksgiving Eve in Flint

FLINT, MI - The Flint Jr. Generals defeated the Metro Jets, 5-2, Wednesday night at Flint Iceland Arena.

Metro head coach Jason Cirone wasn't the least bit upset after the game, though, instead praising his team for playing "a heck of a game against a heck of a team."

"I think the whole game was a positive," said Cirone. "We played hard in a building that's a tough building to come into and against a tough team to play against. If you match their intensity and work ethic, you usually get a good result. Unfortunately, tonight we didn't."

Dillon Kelley got the call in net with Devin Williams still on a call-up with the Ontario Hockey League's Erie Otters and finished with 27 saves.

"I have complete confidence in Dillon and thought he did a good job again tonight," said Cirone. "Of the five goals, I think just the fifth he'd like to have back, but that goal had no bearing on the game at all."

Doug Andrews and Jordan Jones scored the Jets' goals, with Jones' being his first of the season.

Richard Jansson scored two goals for Flint, while Ben Myers made 34 saves for the win.

The Jets (10-8-0-0) next play at home on Sunday against the Toledo Cherokee. First puck drop is at 11:50 a.m. at Lakeland Arena.

"If we could start the game right now, we would; that's how well we played tonight," Cirone said. "I don't want them to change anything. I want them to go home, enjoy a good turkey dinner, watch the Lions beat up on the Packers and then get ready for Sunday."

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Williams makes OHL debut Friday night in Kitchener

WATERFORD, MI – Metro Jets goalie Devin Williams made his Ontario Hockey League debut Friday night with the Erie Otters.

Williams, who signed with Erie in late October, made 10 saves on 12 shots after relieving Tyson Teichmann two minutes into the third period of an 8-1 loss in Kitchener to the Rangers.

The Jets are idle this weekend before playing in Flint next Wednesday night. Metro then hosts Toledo on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 11:50 Lakeland Arena.

Williams is expected to be available for both games.

Photo/Andy Grossman/Detailed Images

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kelley adjusting to junior hockey with Jets

WATERFORD, MI – Making the jump from high school hockey to Junior A hockey was an adjustment at first for Dillon Kelley.

He has since come into his own and is constantly pushing his goalie counterpart, Devin Williams, for playing time in the Metro Jets’ crease.

“The first few games and weeks were rough for me,” said Kelley, a 17-year-old Petoskey native. “I feel I was being too hard on myself, but once I lightened up, I got my game back and have improved every game. The hockey is a much faster pace and the players are much more creative and smarter.”

Kelley played last season for Petoskey High School and was scouted by Jets’ assistant coach Randy Wilson, who saw the potential for Kelley to play juniors.

“Randy wanted me to come to the Jets’ open camp and after I went to the camp, he said he would like me to come to main camp,” Kelley said. “That was when they offered me a spot. I really didn’t know much about the Jets or the NA3HL. All I knew was what Randy had told me and I didn’t really know what to expect. After being in the league and on the team for two months now, I am very happy to be on this team and in this league.”

So far this season, Kelley is 3-1-0 with a 4.25 goals-against average and a .883 save percentage. Williams has seen the bulk of playing time, but Kelley has played well when called upon.

“Devo is probably my closest friend on the team,” explained Kelley. “We hang out all the time and love to talk hockey and equipment. Within that friendship, we both want to push each other to get better and we both want to play. There is competition there, but it’s a good one.”

Kelley sat on the bench for one game earlier this season as a backup for the NAHL’s Port Huron Fighting Falcons. That experience opened Kelley’s eyes as to what it will take to make the lateral move to the NAHL.

“I plan to keep working hard day in and day out on and off the ice,” boasted Kelley. “I want to improve myself so I can help my team win whenever I am in the net. I hope to get better and better game in and game out and help our team get to where we want to be at the end of the regular season.

“My goals are to improve and get to the next level like everyone else, but my main goal is to help the Jets make it deep into playoffs and win a championship.”


The Toledo Cherokee jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and held on to top the Jets, 5-3, last Saturday night at Lakeland Arena.

Jake Schlacht, Chris Hellebuyck and Zach Mohr scored for the Jets.

In goal, Williams started and allowed all five Toledo goals in 28:21 of work, making 16 saves in the process.

Kelley replaced Williams and made 20 saves.

The Jets (10-7-0-0) are now idle until Wednesday, Nov. 23, when they play in Flint.

Metro's next home game is Sunday, Nov. 27, against Toledo at 11:50 a.m.

*** NOTE *** All Sunday home games are now at 11:50 a.m., instead of 1:20 p.m.


Defenseman Jordan Jones, who played 23 games for the Jets last season, returned to the team and made his 2011-12 debut against Toledo.

Jones, a 20-year-old Toledo native, tallied eight assists in 16 games with the Boston Jr. Blackhawks of the International Junior Hockey League this year.

Last season, Jones recorded four assists after he was acquired from Toledo on Nov. 23, 2010.

Justin Shureb, an 18-year-old forward from Livonia, also joined the Jets last Friday.

Shureb was drafted fourth overall by the Jets out of Livonia Stevenson High School last June. He was an honorable mention Division 1 All-State selection last year.

Shureb joins Mike MacKinnon, Hellebuyck, Tim Perks (injured, hasn’t played this year), John Baker, Chad Frost, Tim Wlodkowski and Steve Klisz as 2011 draft picks to make the Jets’ team this season.


Wylie Rogers, a goaltender on the 2002 Silver Cup national Junior B championship team, is playing this season for the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees of the Central Hockey League.

Rogers, who played for the U.S. National Team Development Program in 2002-03, also played four years of Division I college hockey for Alaska-Fairbanks of the CCHA from 2004-08.

The 26-year-old native of Fairbanks saw time last season for the Heerenveen Flyers pro team in the Netherlands.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Toledo downs Jets Saturday night

WATERFORD, MI - The Toledo Cherokee jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and held on to top the Metro Jets, 5-3, Saturday night at Lakeland Arena.

Jake Schlacht, Chris Hellebuyck and Zach Mohr scored for the Jets.

In goal, Devin Williams started and allowed all five Toledo goals in 28:21 of work, making 16 saves in the process.

Dillon Kelley replaced Williams and made 20 saves.

The Jets (10-7-0-0) are now idle until Wednesday, Nov. 23 when they play in Flint.

Metro's next home game is Sunday, Nov. 27 against Toledo at 11:50 a.m.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Shier emerging as 'go-to defenseman' for Metro

WATERFORD, MI – Will Shier is proof that you can go home again.

The Metro Jets’ defenseman started last season playing in the Northern Pacific Hockey League with the Wyoming-based Yellowstone Quake, but after a handful of games, decided he needed a bigger challenge and wanted a venue where he would be scouted.

Enter the Jets, the team that drafted Shier in the 2010 North American 3 Hockey League draft.

“I had heard that the Jets hired Jason Cirone (as head coach) and were now a part of the NA3HL,” said Shier. “I felt that I would have a better opportunity to make it to the next level if I returned home and played in the NA3HL.”

Once he returned to Michigan and signed with the Jets, things changed drastically.

“Last season had quite a few ups and downs for me personally,” said the 19-year-old Sterling Heights native. “As the season went on, my game really improved because Coach Cirone pushed me constantly. I was also in the gym every day working hard to get stronger. I earned a lot of playing time which helped my game out quite a bit. By the end of the season, I had gained a lot of experience and was really confident with my game. I believe playing for the Jets last year really contributed to the player I am now.”

Earlier this season, Shier earned a call-up to the Port Huron Fighting Falcons of the North American Hockey League. He had gone to Port Huron’s main training camp in August and narrowly missed making the team.

When he got the call in October, Shier took advantage of the opportunity to impress Port Huron head coach Bill Warren during the two games he dressed for the Fighting Falcons.

“When I got called up to Port Huron, I knew from my experiences at the Fighting Falcons’ main camp, that the speed would be quite different than that of the NA3HL, and it was,” explained Shier. “In the NAHL, you have less time to make decisions and it is a much faster game. I knew a few of their players received game misconducts the day before and I thought I was only getting the call up for one game, but was happy to find out after the first game, that I would be playing another one. I got to play alongside many great players, many of them whom I played with in the past. I spoke with Coach Warren before heading back to the Jets and he told me to be patient, my time would come.”

With the Jets, Shier has been playing 25-30 minutes a game, including the point on the power play. He has a goal and five assists for six points thus far this season.

“I wish I had three or four more Will Shiers on the team,” said Cirone. “He’s our go-to defenseman and is a leader back there for us, which is also why he’s one of our alternate captains. He’s played with several different defense partners and makes them all better players when they’re out there with him.”

Still, the NAHL is Shier’s goal, both short-term and long-term. He said being in Port Huron showed him what it takes to move up and play in the league.

”I worked really hard on my game during the offseason,” said Shier. “I went out east for ten days and skated with one of the coaches (Blair Joseph) from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. I received a lot of positive feedback from the NAHL coaches during tryouts this summer, but I just fell a bit short. Coach Cirone and (Metro GM) Butch Wolfe attended every tryout and gave me a lot of support. With the addition of full-time assistant coaches Dave Hague and Randy Wilson, I know we are going to have a great year and this is where I want to be. I wanted to come back and play for the Jets because I know Jason will help get me to the next level.

“I know, when given the chance, through hard work and dedication, I will be successful. I have already had a taste of the NAHL and can’t wait for more. Hopefully, the hard work will pay off and I will receive an offer to play college hockey for the 2013-14 school year as I work toward a degree in architecture.”

Looks like Shier is already building a solid future for himself.


Metro swept both games at home last weekend against Pittsburgh, winning 7-3 on Saturday night and then 4-2 on Sunday afternoon.

Saturday night, Shier (goal, two assists), Chris Hellebuyck (two goals, assist) and newcomer Zach Mohr (goal, two assists) had three-point nights and goaltender Dillon Kelley finished with 39 saves.

Steve Klisz, Matt Stirling and Matt Stemkoski also scored in the victory.

The Jets’ penalty kill shut down Pittsburgh’s power play as the Jr. Penguins went 0-for-6 with the advantage and 1-for-12 over the entire weekend.

In the series finale, Stemkoski and Mohr each had a goal and an assist, while Stirling and Doug Andrews tallied the others.

Klisz recorded two assists and Devin Williams made 32 saves in goal.

“Every single kid played well,” said Cirone. “I attribute that to last week in practice. It was probably our best week of practice since the second or third week of the season. Our kids really put it together last weekend and showed they have what it takes to win in this league.”

Metro (10-6-0-0) hosts Toledo this Saturday night for a 7:40 p.m. puck drop at Lakeland Arena in the lone game of the weekend.

“It all starts in practice and typically, how you practice is how you play during the weekend,” Cirone said. “I’d like to think we’ve turned a corner here and have turned our kids into believers.”


Mohr wasn’t the only new player in the lineup last weekend as forward Cameron Bazin made his return to the Jets in Sunday’s game.

“Bazin was one of my favorite players last year and is really a silent leader,” said Cirone. “Kids on our team can learn from him. His first shift on Sunday, he goes out and blocks a shot that prevented a scoring chance and then on his second shift, he throws a big hit. He’ll be an asset for us.”

Last year, the 19-year-old Troy native had three goals and 10 points in 36 games for the Jets.

Mohr, a 19-year-old from Novi, had a five-point weekend after coming over from Port Huron two weeks ago.

“I don’t expect Zach here the whole season,” said Cirone. “He’s very deserving to get another shot in the NAHL and I think once he works on some things that may be hindering his game he’ll be back up there.”

In another transaction approved Wednesday, the Jets traded Swedish defenseman Niels Olesen to Queen City. Olesen had one assist in 11 games this year.


Nick Kenney
, the Jets’ top scorer during the 2006-07 season with 31 goals and 35 assists for 66 points (35 on the power play), is starting his junior season at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, a Division III school in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA).

After the Jets, the 23-year-old Wixom native skated two seasons with the NAHL’s Mahoning Valley Phantoms.

Photo/Andy Grossman/Detailed Images

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Captain's Corner - Pittsburgh sweep, Mohr, Bazin, the 'C'

Each week during the season, Metro Jets' captain Tommy Kilgore will chime in with his thoughts on what's going on with the team.

-- On sweeping Pittsburgh last weekend.
Last weekend was great. It's always nice taking four points from a team when we're home.

-- On newcomer Zach Mohr.
Zach is a good hockey player and he brings a lot of talent to our well-rounded team.

-- On the return of forward Cameron Bazin.
Bazin is a silent leader he is a player that gets the team going by doing something on the ice.

-- On adjusting to being captain for the first two months of the season.
I know my role here and I do my best to lead the team on and off the ice. I am used to knowing my job that I need to do.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stirling brings veteran leadership to Jets

WATERFORD, MI - As one of the few returning players to the Metro Jets this season, Matt Stirling is being counted on for leadership and offense as the Jets hope to play in the North American 3 Hockey League playoffs for the first time in five years.

Leadership hasn’t been an issue as Sterling is an alternate captain for the second straight season. The offense, though, has sputtered, but has recently come alive for the 19-year-old Dexter native.

“The first two months of the season have been interesting and not what I was expecting,” Stirling said. “It has been a slow start for me this season and has been frustrating so far. With that said, I feel that my play has picked up recently over the past couple weeks and that with the better play, I should hopefully have better results soon.”

Going into this weekend, Stirling has just two goals through 14 games. Last year, he posted 24 goals and played in the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament last February in Ann Arbor.

“Last season, I learned that you have to bring your game every night and that the consistency of your play is vital to success,” remarked Stirling. “The more consistent you are, the better chance you have of moving up or playing well. I also learned that it is a long season full of ups and downs in which you have to be prepared for anything.”

Looking back on last year, Stirling said the feel around the locker room is much different, and in a good way, as compared to the 2010-11 season.

”I think there is a different mindset to this year’s team because of the amount of returning players to the Jets and the leadership the returners bring to the team,” said Stirling. “The returners know what to expect this year on and off the ice, where last year we were all learning a new system and that took time for players to develop.”

Stirling went to summer camps with the North American Hockey League’s Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings and Traverse City North Stars, but felt another year of seasoning in Waterford would help improve his game to move up next year. Getting a few more wins on the board could help slow starters like Stirling pick up their game, and if a catalyst like Stirling can get off the schneid, that can only be a positive for the Jets.

“The team has slid a little bit from our hot start in our last couple games, but I feel that we have some good hockey players and as a team, we are playing very well so far,” Stirling said “I think that if I can get my game going and keep improving my game, it can only help the team in the long run.”


Metro traveled to Cleveland last weekend and suffered a two-game sweep at the hands of the East Division-leading Jr. Lumberjacks.

Saturday night, Steve Klisz and Mike MacKinnon scored late in the third period, but it wasn’t enough as Cleveland held on for a 3-2 win.

Devin Williams was outstanding in goal with a 48-save performance against the NA3HL’s highest-scoring team.

Then Sunday afternoon, Cleveland blanked the Jets, 5-0. Williams started and made 24 saves on 29 shots through 35:04. Dillon Kelley played the rest of the game and stopped all 18 shots he faced.

This weekend, the Jets (8-6-0-0) come home to Lakeland Arena to battle the Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins. Game time Saturday night is 7:50 p.m. with a 1:20 p.m. matinee scheduled for Sunday.

Pittsburgh sits in fourth place in the East, just three points behind third-place Metro.


Forward Zach Mohr, a 19-year-old Novi native, joined the Jets in a trade from the NAHL’s Port Huron Fighting Falcons late last week and is expected in the lineup this weekend against Pittsburgh.

Mohr totaled two goals and two assists in 14 games with Port Huron this year.


Tommy Burns, who played for the Jets last year, is averaging better than a point per game with Lindenwood University’s ACHA Division II team this season.

Burns, a 21-year-old forward from Pinckney, has eight goals and 13 points in 11 games for the Lindenwood, a school based in St. Charles, Mo.

Last season, Burns posted 16 goals and 33 points in 43 games in 2010-11, good for fourth in team scoring.

Photo/Andy Grossman/Detailed Images