Friday, November 30, 2012

Jets fall to Alexandria at NA3HL Showcase Friday night

BLAINE, Minn. - Alexandria Blizzard goalie Kyle Miller stopped all 10 shots he faced to lead the Blizzard to a 2-0 win over the Metro Jets Friday night at the NA3HL Showcase at the Schwan Super Rink.

Zach Hill and Bryce Mitzel scored for Alexandria.

For the Jets (9-9-0-0), Trevor Kalinowski finished with 46 saves in goal.

Metro next plays the North Iowa Bulls Saturday at 5:45 p.m. EST.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hosking playing solid 'D' for Jets, hoping for NAHL opportunity

WATERFORD, MI – Josh Hosking started this season with the North American Hockey League’s Jamestown Ironmen, but when he was cut from the team, his next option was only a phone call away.


“When I was released from Jamestown, the coach told me to talk to (Metro Jets’ coach) Jason Cirone and I got a call from Jason actually during my drive home the next day,” explained Hosking, a 19-year-old defenseman from Oxford. “Jason has been great. He can be very intimidating at times, but he knows how and when to push the buttons with guys and he knows what he is talking about.

“One thing I learned almost immediately is that he always has us players’ best interests in mind and wants to better every single guy in the room as much as possible.”

Now a fixture on the Jets’ blue line in the North American 3 Hockey League, Hosking logs a regular shift and usually plays a shutdown role against opposing team’s top lines. Hosking said he’s happy with his role in Waterford, but ultimately, wants to move back up to the NAHL.

“I am working to play in all situations, better my skills on the ice and working out everyday to become stronger,” explained Hosking. “I would say my shot and my vision with the puck fit well in the NAHL, but I know I need to work on my foot work.”

On a four-game winning streak, the Jets have seemingly bonded and gelled in recent weeks and when that happens, wins can pile up.

”Everyone is really coming together,” Hosking said. “There has been a lot of bonding and a feeling of really becoming a family around the room. We are playing well as a team since we are playing all the top teams in the league.

“I feel we are proving to people we are better than what our record shows.”


Goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic was named the NA3HL’s 1st Star of the Week after his two wins last week against Flint and Michigan.

“The NA3HL is a great league to get him some shots and experience,” said Cirone. “He is very talented and very calm and composed for being just 16 years old. He plays with a lot of confidence and our team has fed off that.”


Former Metro forward Brad Townsend, who played for the Jets during the 2005-06 season, is playing with the Dayton Demonz of the Federal Hockey League this season.

After his season with the Jets, Townsend, a 25-year-old Davisburg native, played for the Pembroke (Ont.) Lumber Kings in the Central Junior Hockey League and then in 2008-09, played in the International Hockey League with the Flint Generals.

Townsend also had previous pro stops in the FHL and also in the ECHL, All-American Hockey League and Central Hockey League.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Captain's Corner - Winning streak, showcase in Blaine

Each week during the 2012-13 season, Metro Jets’ captain Matt Stirling will give his thoughts on topics surrounding the team as it makes its way through the North American 3 Hockey League grind.

-- On what he did for Thanksgiving.

Just went home and took the time off to recover. The break is always a good time to rest the legs and the mind while doing other things besides hockey. I think it came at the right time so we can now prepare ourselves for Blaine, Minn.

-- On the mood around the team during the current four-game winning streak.

Yeah, I think we are clicking really well right now as we have won four straight against some teams that were also playing well at the time. This is encouraging as we can see our play start to change and know that we are playing well for 60 minutes.

-- On this weekend's NA3HL Showcase in Blaine, Minn.

This trip has been much anticipated by many guys for a while now. The important part is that we take it one game at a time and progress from there. The showcase is a long weekend for us and we need to prepare ourselves for it.

-- On what he's most looking forward to this weekend.

I’m looking forward to the games, obviously, as we need to continue winning games to keep going in the right direction. I also am looking forward to the time spent with the boys on the bus trips and over the weekend.  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Chapie nets a pair to guide Jets past Mountain Cats Sunday

WATERFORD, MI - Ryan Chapie scored two goals and Alex Nedeljkovic made 33 saves as the Metro Jets defeated the Michigan Mountain Cats 6-2 Sunday afternoon at Lakeland Arena for their fourth consecutive victory.

Captain Matt Stirling, Alex Holm and Mike Gambino each had a goal and an assist and Devon D'Angelo also scored to go along with two assists from Jeff Monfils.

Metro (9-8-0-0) now heads to Blaine, Minn., for the four-day NA3HL Showcase next weekend. The Jets will play the Alexandria Blizzard, North Iowa Bulls, Peoria Mustangs and St. Louis Jr. Blues.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Jets play a complete 60 minutes, top Flint Wednesday night

FLINT, MI - The Metro Jets played so well Wednesday night that head coach Jason Cirone had just one complaint after the game, a 3-1 win for the Jets over the Flint Jr. Generals at Iceland Arena.

"Why haven't we played that well for 60 minutes all season?" asked Cirone. "We've played that way the past few games, but the first 13 games, we didn't. That's my only complaint in that we haven't played this way for the first quarter of the season."

Mike Gambino and Andrew Palushaj scored power-play goals as the Jets earned their third straight win over Flint.

Travis Hargett also tallied for Metro (8-8-0-0) and goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic (pictured) made 33 saves for his third straight win since joining the Jets on Nov. 10 from the OHL's Plymouth Whalers.

Luke McDiarmid scored Flint's lone goal and Ted Barile finished with 33 saves in goal.

"Everybody was going tonight and everybody played well," said Cirone. "Everyone contributed one way or another and that's what you have to do to win games in this league."

After a brief break for Thanksgiving, the Jets head home to host the Michigan Mountain Cats at Lakeland Arena Sunday afternoon.

Back on Nov. 3. the Mountain Cats took a 5-2 win at Lakeland and that's not something Cirone wants to see happen again.

"They didn't beat us (last game); they dominated us," Cirone said. "They beat us in every aspect of the game. We didn't perform at all. They kicked our butts and hopefully, that's motivation enough."

Game time Sunday afternoon is set for 2:50 p.m.

Photo/Matt Mackinder

Monday, November 19, 2012

Jets' rookie Krajewski enjoying rookie season in NA3HL

WATERFORD, MI – T.J. Krajewski is just 17 years old, but is finding his way through his rookie season with the Metro Jets and learning what Junior A hockey in the North American 3 Hockey League is all about.

Back on Nov. 11 at Battle Creek, the Macomb native and Jets’ defenseman tallied a goal and two assists – all of his points to date – along with a plus-4 rating in a 9-3 win over the Jr. Revolution in just his eighth game of the season.

Playing in just half the Jets’ games entering this week of play, Krajewski has been happy with his current situation.

“My season is going pretty well at this point,” Krajewski said. “It is quite the big jump coming from Midget A hockey (Krajewski played for the Rochester Rattlers last season - pictured), but I knew the NA3HL was a good league to start playing juniors in. It’s really big for me now that I got my first goal out of the way.”

Most players would say they want to keep scoring at a rapid pace as once they get that elusive first goal, they want more.

Not so, said the realistic Krajewski.

“I’m looking to score at least five goals this season,” said Krajewski. “The Jets are a good team and I know (Metro head coach Jason) Cirone will help me out a lot. He is a great coach and knows a lot about the game. As for my teammates, guys like Jeff Monfils, (Jets’ captain) Matt Stirling and Doug Andrews have all helped me through the season the most. I owe a lot to those guys.”

Just getting started in his junior career, Krajewski has some broad goals in mind for the future and wants to keep working to get to where he wants to be.

“Short-term, I just want to improve all of my skills,” Krajewski said. “Long term, I want to move up in the leagues and get a shot at playing college hockey.”

And with his confidence booming after his outbreak against Battle Creek, anything is possible for Krajewski.


The Jets (7-8-0-0) sat idle last weekend, but play Wednesday night in Flint and then Sunday afternoon at home against the Michigan Mountain Cats and former Jets’ forward Cam Bruff (2011-12).


Of Stirling’s 27 points this season, just six have come on special teams (one shorthanded goal, one power-play goal and four power-play assists), showing how effective the Jets’ captain is playing five-on-five.

Andrews is just as potent five-on-five, with just a power-play goal and three power-play assists among his 25 points this year.

Both have also combined for just 10 penalty minutes (all minors) this season and each are among the top 10 NA3HL scoring leaders.


Two former Jets’ captains currently skate for the Oakland University ACHA Division I team in Adam Novack and Tommy Kilgore.

Novack, a senior, played for the Jets from 2007-09, while Kilgore, a freshman at OU, suited up for the Jets from 2010-12 and also played three games with the NAHL’s Port Huron Fighting Falcons in early 2011.

Oakland junior forward Art Dore is also an ex-Jet and played for NCAA Division III Becker College prior to coming to OU.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Captain's Corner - Wins over Flint, Battle Creek, Alex Nedeljkovic

Each week during the 2012-13 season, Metro Jets’ captain Matt Stirling will give his thoughts on topics surrounding the team as it makes its way through the North American 3 Hockey League grind.

-- On beating Flint and Battle Creek last weekend and scoring 17 goals in the process.

We played well and when we score, they seem to come in bunches. Our power play worked well the first game and led us to the win. The energy from the first game just carried over in to the second game. It was good to see us play well and get the four points we needed.

-- On different players contributing over the weekend.

It showed that guys can be put in the lineup and can produce. The thought that every guy in the lineup can be a threat to the other team is one that many teams in our league will have a problem with.

-- On new goalie Alex Nedeljkovic.

Alex played well for us in the two games he played. He came in from Plymouth of the OHL and fits in nicely with the guys that we have. He needed some starts to keep him in game shape and will be here with us for the time being. I don’t know how long he’ll be here, but he’s fit in nicely so far.

-- On getting the two wins and then sitting idle this weekend.

Whenever we string some wins together, it is always nice, but yes, we seem to get hot right before idle weekends. I think we are progressing as a team and will be fine with the weekend off here.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Metro rookie finding comfortable 'Holm' with Jets

WATERFORD, MI – It appears Alex Holm’s adjustment period going from AAA hockey to the North American 3 Hockey League is over.

After recording just one goal over his first 11 games this season with the Metro Jets, Holm quadrupled his goal total with three last weekend as the Jets beat the Flint Jr. Generals and Battle Creek Jr. Revolution.

Holm, a 17-year-old West Bloomfield native, also finished with a plus-5 rating for the weekend.

According to Holm, it was only a matter of time before his offense started to click and the team started to gel.

 “I feel that the season started off a little rough and we were playing our own style of hockey, but now we’re coming together as a team and listening to (head coach Jason) Cirone and getting the job done because our own ways of playing games doesn't work,” said Holm, who played in the North American Prospects Hockey League last season with the Detroit Falcons U-18 team (pictured). “The jump to the NA3 was pretty big, though. I had to adjust to the speed of the game and the physical play.”

Jets’ veteran Travis Hargett has been a big help in getting acclimated to junior hockey, said Holm.

“Hargett has showed me the ropes about all the rules and details the NA3 has,” Holm said. “Before this season, I knew that the Jets moved a lot of players on to play higher levels of hockey, so that was very appealing to me. I have also learned that Cirone is a very good coach. He knows his hockey and also has a very good hockey background and can teach me a lot on the ice and off the ice.”

Still, when asked what he most wants to accomplish this season, Holm strayed from personal numbers.

”I just want to make the playoffs,” said Holm. “Our long-term goal would be to take the Silver Cup. If we keep playing the way we did last weekend, we have the team that can match up against anyone in this league.” 


Late last week, the Jets released goaltender Luke DuBois and forward Ian Springfield.

DuBois went 1-1-0 this season with a 4.29 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage, while Springfield tallied two goals in 12 games.


Defenseman Vinnie Pietrangelo, who played for the Jets back in 2009-10 after being their top draft pick in the 2009 CSHL draft, is now in his junior season at Division III Finlandia University in Hancock, Mich.

Unfortunately, Pietrangelo fractured his collarbone in early September and not expected to return until January.

Another ex-Jet, forward Todd Knaus, is also playing for Finlandia, but is out with a knee injury. Pietrangelo and Knaus were teammates at Traverse City West High School as well.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hargett, Holm each tally four points in Jets' win at Battle Creek

BATTLE CREEK, MI - Travis Hargett recorded a hat trick and Alex Holm had two goals and two assists to lead the Metro Jets to a 9-3 road win over the Battle Creek Jr. Revolution Sunday afternoon.

Mike Gambino scored twice with an assist, while T.J. Krajewski tallied a goal and two helpers to help back Alex Nedeljkovic's 25 saves between the pipes.

Andrew Palushaj also scored for the Jets to go along with two assists each from Jeff Monfils and Thomas Evans.

The Jets (7-8-0-0) are now off until playing Thanksgiving Eve (Nov. 21) in Flint.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Stirling and Palushaj lead Jets to huge win over Flint

WATERFORD, MI - The Metro Jets ended their two-game losing skid with an 8-2 win over the Flint Jr. Generals Saturday night at Lakeland Arena.

 Metro captain Matt Stirling and Andrew Palushaj each had a goal and four asissts to lead new goalie Alex Nedeljkovic's 38 saves in net.

Nedeljkovic started the season with the OHL's Plymouth Whalers.

Josh Hosking recorded a goal and two assists, Jeff Monfils two goals plus a helper and Mike Gambino and Doug Andrews each had a goal and an assist for the Jets (6-8-0-0).

Alex Holm also scored in the win.

Jacob Howie and Eddie Osowski scored for Flint and Patrick Drazkowski finished with 25 saves.

The Jets travel to Battle Creek Sunday afternoon for a 1:30 p.m. puck drop.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Metro's goalie trio working well on, off the ice

WATERFORD, MI – The Metro Jets are familiar with the philosophy that defense wins games and to a greater extent, wins championships.

With the last line of defense starting in goal, the Jets have three very capable goaltenders this season that have all shown the ability to play at the North American 3 Hockey League level.

Luke DuBois, Austin Julvezan and Trevor Kalinowski are all rookies in the NA3HL, but all have earned wins for the Jets this season. What’s more is that the trio gets along off the ice and pushes each other on the ice.

Essentially, it’s a win-win situation for all three goalies.

“The friendly competition is good,” said Julvezan. “I've always gotten along with my goalie partners, but playing with these guys is easy. We all support each other when it's not our game. We get along outside of the rink pretty well. These guys are just easy to be around and we always have a good time.”

“The competition between us three goalies is what I've enjoyed most this season,” added DuBois. “We push each other to be at our best and always stay positive no matter who is between the pipes on a given day.”

Kalinowski (pictured), who played at Lakeland High School last season and has seen the bulk of action thus far for Metro, currently leads the Jets with three wins, while DuBois and Julvezan have one apiece.

“I feel the season has gone fairly well,” said Kalinowski. “I’ve certainly learned a lot and still have more to learn from my coaches and my teammates. We all seem to be bonding very close to each other. I consider this year a big leap in the right direction for my hockey career, since I split last season with a senior on Lakeland’s varsity team.”

Julvezan played the 2011-12 season for Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, going all the way to the Division I state semifinals before losing to Brighton High School and current Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks’ rookie goalie Christian Michalik.

“My season has gone well so far,” Julvezan said. “Going from a starter to rotating was hard to get used to at first, but I'm really starting to feel myself excel. The jump from where I played last season compared to the NA3 was minor. The speed of the game hasn't changed by much, but the shots are harder and more accurate. Before this season, I knew the NA3 had become a better level of play and had improved from what people used to perceive it as.”

During the 2011 NA3HL Entry Draft, DuBois was actually drafted by the Flint Jr. Generals, but chose to stay and play his senior season at Gabriel Richard High School. When the chance came up this season for him to join the Jets, there was no hesitation.

“I have had a decent season thus far and I have some things that I can work on, but I feel as if I've performed when given the opportunity,” DuBois said. “The jump to the NA3 was large compared to the level of my team last season, though I was used to the fast paced style of play from participating in the MDHL and other showcases. I don't really have any set goals for the season. I enjoy seeing our team win and would rather have my team win than have personal goals fulfilled. Before this season I was pretty familiar with the NA3 and have known (Jets assistant and goalie) coach (Randy) Wilson for quite awhile.”

Each goalie also said they hope to jump to the North American Hockey League next season with an eye on playing in college one day.

“I just want to take it as it comes,” Julvezan said.

 “I would just like to keep hockey a part of my life in any way possible,” added DuBois.

So who gets the start Saturday night against Flint? That is the $64,000 question.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Captain's Corner - Frustration with last weekend, looking ahead

Each week during the 2012-13 season, Metro Jets’ captain Matt Stirling will give his thoughts on topics surrounding the team as it makes its way through the North American 3 Hockey League grind.

-- On losing on the road to Michigan and at home to Cleveland last weekend.

This weekend, we really only played two good periods of hockey and that was against Cleveland. The Michigan game, we came out flat and didn't compete very well in that game. The Cleveland game, we fought well and still came up short.

-- On frustration maybe starting to set in.

Either way with any team, there is still some frustration. When you play well and you don't get the results, it is easy to become frustrated. The only thing is that it is a long year and we are just getting started.

-- On any messages the team received from head coach Jason Cirone last weekend.

Both games, the message was clear that we needed to pick up our play and we finally did so towards the end of the Cleveland game. The way we played was not very good and it can't happen again.

-- On playing at home against Flint Saturday and at Battle Creek Sunday afternoon.

For both games, I'm looking for us to play a quality 60 minutes and get the wins. The points are at a premium now and we can't afford to give up many more games.  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Jets blow third-period lead as Cleveland rallies Sunday afternoon

WATERFORD, MI - Jeff Monfils and Doug Andrews staked the Metro Jets to a 2-1 lead after two periods, but the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks came back with two goals in the third period to escape Lakeland Arena with a 3-2 win Sunday afternoon.

Cameron Dimmitt and Cleveland captain Fred West scored for the Jr. Lumberjacks in the final period to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Austin Julvezan made 29 saves for the Jets, while Christian Michalik stopped 13 at the other end. The goaltending battle was especially interesting as it featured a rematch of last spring's Division I high school state semifinals - Michalik for eventual champion Brighton and Julvezan for Orchard Lake St. Mary's.

The Jets (5-8-0) host the Flint Jr. Generals next Saturday night before traveling to Battle Creek Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Stirling's two points not enough as Jets fall to Mountain Cats

FRASER, MI - Austin Sartorius scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Michigan Mountain Cats past the Metro Jets 5-2 Saturday night at the Great Lakes Sports City.

Jets' captain Matt Stirling had a goal an a helper, while Andrew Palushaj also scored.

Trevor Kalinowski made 39 saves for the Jets. Dominic Orlando finished with 34 stops at the other end.

The Jets (5-7-0-0) return home to Lakeland Arena for a 2:50 p.m. game Sunday afternoon against the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Paluahaj out to make name for himself with Jets

WATERFORD, MI – Andrew Palushaj has some pretty good hockey bloodlines and has brought them to the Metro Jets this year after starting the season in the North American Hockey League.

The cousin of Aaron Palushaj, a former University of Michigan star with 41 games of NHL experience under his belt with the Montreal Canadiens, Andrew played 19 games last year with the NAHL’s Odessa Jackalopes (pictured) after an All-State season in 2010-11 at Livonia Stevenson High School.

Making the jump to Junior A was an adjustment at first for Palushaj, but one he feels is now under control.

“I feel that the season has been going pretty good so far,” said the 19-year-old Livonia native. “We are starting to figure things out as a team and are becoming better everyday. It's a pretty big jump because the league has a faster pace and is a lot more physical. I would love to get the chance to play at the NAHL level again, but right now, I'm just working on my skills and trying to become a better hockey player each day I come to the rink.”

Palushaj even admitted that he sometimes gets mistaken for his cousin or asked if Aaron is his brother, but he doesn’t mind the attention at all.

“I think that what he accomplished is amazing and he made his dream a reality,” Andrew said of Aaron. “I would love to be able to get to where he is today. I give him a lot of credit for what he does. He shows that if you work hard enough that you can accomplish anything you want to and I am very proud of him and want nothing but the best for him as he continues his hockey career.”

Before coming to the Jets and the North American 3 Hockey League, Palushaj said he didn’t know a great deal about the team or the league. He said he has since realized that both provide great opportunities for advancing up the hockey ladder.

“I would love to win a championship with this team and I think we have a great set of guys and have the ability to do it if we work hard enough this season,” Palushaj said. “I didn't know that much about the league as a whole, but I knew the Jets had been known to move a lot of players on to higher levels and that made me want to be a part of this organization.”

Palushaj also gave props to Jets’ head coach Jason Cirone.

“I think coach Jason is a great guy and has a lot to offer to our team,” noted Palushaj. “He has a lot of hockey sense and a great hockey background. I think I can learn a lot from him that will help benefit me on and off the ice.”

Thinking towards the future, Palushaj has a game plan and one he hopes can fulfill to the highest degree.

“My short-term hockey goal would be to help benefit this team any way I can and keep scoring as much as I can,” said Palushaj. “My long-term goal would be to hopefully get a scholarship so I can keep playing.”

And with nine points in eight games this season, the Jets are banking on him providing offense and leadership that will trickle down to the rest of the players.


The Flint Jr. Generals scored late in the third period to knot the game at 3-all, but the Jets eked out a 4-3 win in a shootout last Friday night at Lakeland Arena to extend their winning streak to three games.

Palushaj scored two goals for the Jets, while captain Matt Stirling had a goal and two assists and Mike Gambino a goal and an helper.

“The Flint game was an all-around great game,” Stirling said. “We played well in every area of the ice and stayed out of the penalty box to get the win. That is the way we should play every night and what it will take to win key games in this league.”

Flint led 2-1 after two periods before Palushaj and Stirling scored in the third to put the Jets ahead.

Nick Gnagni recorded the equalizer at 19:08 of the third with goalie Patrick Drazkowski on the bench for the extra attacker.

In the shootout, Metro goalie Austin Julvezan stopped three of the four Flint shooters and picked up his first win of the season. Julvezan made 24 saves in the game.

Drazkowski finished with 32 saves in the Flint net, while Eddie Osowski had a goal and an assist.

The Jets (5-6-0-0) face the Michigan Mountain Cats on the road in Fraser this Saturday night before returning home Sunday afternoon to host the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks at 2:50 p.m.

“I expect for us to come out with four points as we need them to keep pace in our division,” said Stirling. “These teams are both talented and can be tough to play against if you don’t prepare all week for them. I expect Michigan to be aggressive all over the ice and to be able to keep pace with us for 60 minutes. Cleveland we have played before and know what kind of effort it will take to play them.

“Both games will be a challenge, but if we play how we know we can, we should come out with four points.”


Stirling’s 19 points are good for a sixth-place tie among NA3HL scoring leaders, while Doug Andrews’ 18 points puts him in an 11th-place tie.

Goaltender Trevor Kalinowski is in the top 10 for save percentage (.905) and goals-against average (2.81).


Jon Cooper coached the Jets to the 2002 Silver Cup Junior B national title and has seemingly won everywhere he has been since.

Cooper guided the St. Louis Bandits to consecutive NAHL titles, the Green Bay Gamblers to a United States Hockey League crown and last year, won an American Hockey League Calder Cup with the Norfolk Admirals, the top affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

This season, Cooper is back with the Tampa Bay organization as head coach of the Syracuse Crunch after being rumored to make the jump to the NHL over the summer.

Photo by David Byerly/Odessa Jackalopes