Sunday, September 9, 2012

Kilgore continues Jets' parade of players to Oakland

WATERFORD, MI – Add Tommy Kilgore to the list of former Metro Jets’ players moving up the hockey ladder.

Kilgore, who captained the 2011-12 Jets to their best season in recent years, committed to play for Oakland University’s ACHA Division I team last week and will join the Grizzlies for the upcoming season.

Another former Jets’ captain, Adam Novack (2007-09), is a senior at OU this year. Several other ex-Jets have made their way through the Oakland ranks over the years as well.

“I met one of the (OU) coaches (Gordie Schaeffler) where I work out at Total Performance (in Wixom) and he told me about the team’s tryout camp that was happening last week and that I should come out and skate,” explained Kilgore. “I took him up on his offer and at the end of the camp, the coaches offered me a spot and I accepted.

“At the beginning of the summer, I began to realize that if I wasn’t going to play in the North American Hockey League that it was time to start looking at colleges and going to school. When the opportunity came up for me to have an opportunity at OU, one of the top ACHA D-I schools in the country, it was something I really couldn’t afford to turn down.”

Over two seasons with the Jets, Kilgore recorded 21 goals and 34 assists for 55 points in 79 games. He also skated in three games with the NAHL’s Port Huron Fighting Falcons during the 2010-11 season.

“If I didn’t come and play those two years for (Metro coach) Jason (Cirone), I wouldn’t be where I am today,” said Kilgore, a Pinckney native who turns 20 on Sept. 18. “He taught me so much about the game and there is no way I’m playing for OU if I didn’t play for Metro. When I played for Pinckney High School and graduated in 2010, I thought that was the end of the line. I thought college hockey would maybe be in reach, but not at such a prestigious school like Oakland.”

Now a full-time college student, Kilgore is looking to major in business management at Oakland while still playing hockey at a high level.

“Oakland has such high standards in both athletics and academics and on the ice, I know I will always have to be ready,” Kilgore said. “I think we only have five freshmen this year and I know I’ll have to work my way into the top six. Right now, I think they have me as an energy guy and that’s fine, but I’m willing to put in the hard work to play more of a bigger role.”

Perhaps a future captain in the making? Time will tell.

Photo by Andy Grossman/Detailed Images

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