Sunday, February 12, 2012

Kelley a wall in goal, blanks Mountain Cats in two straight

FARMINGTON HILLS, MI – Dillon Kelley shut out the Michigan Mountain Cats in back-to-back games Friday and Saturday night at Farmington Hills Ice Arena to propel the Metro Jets to a season sweep of the Mountain Cats.

For Kelley, the weekend was a coming-out party of sorts for the 17-year-old Petoskey native who has emerged as the Jets’ No. 1 goaltender. He has three shutouts this year - all against the Mountain Cats. Kelley previously blanked Michigan with a 13-save outing on Jan. 14 at Lakeland Arena.

“I was well-rested and was seeing the puck well and felt very comfortable in both games,” said Kelley. “I would have to say that this past weekend is for sure in my top three greatest moments of my hockey career. I have never had back-to-back shutouts before, so this was pretty special to me.”

Friday night, Kelley stopped 27 shots in the Jets’ 3-0 win, while Matt Stemkoski, Matt Stirling and John Baker scored to pace the Metro attack.

Saturday night, Mike MacKinnon and Doug Andrews provided the offense in a 2-0 victory. Kelley finished with 40 saves.

“This weekend was huge for us,” Kelley said. “I think that the momentum we gained this weekend will carry us through the remainder of the season and into the playoffs. Even though they were two close games, I feel that as a team, we all played well, Michigan played hard and aggressive, keeping everyone on their toes, but we worked hard both games, All in all, I feel it was a great weekend for us as a team.”

Metro (23-14-0-1) will now get set to play five games in six days in the next week. The Jets skate at Battle Creek next Friday night and then after an off day Saturday will head to Troy for the NA3HL East Showcase at the Troy Sports Center.

In Troy, the Jets will play Michigan next Sunday at 7:30 p.m., Toledo on Monday, Feb. 20 at 2:45 p.m., Battle Creek on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 9 a.m. and then finishes up against Queen City on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at noon.

Photo/Matt Mackinder

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