Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Captain's Corner - NA3HL Showcase, idle weekend, Thanksgiving

Each week during the 2013-14 season, Metro Jets’ captain Josh Beleski will give his thoughts on topics surrounding the team as it makes its way through the North American 3 Hockey League season, the 25th for the Jets as a junior franchise. 

-- On the NA3HL Showcase.

Overall, it was a pretty rough showcase. We played good in the first period of the first game, but after that, it seemed like everything started going downhill for us. We ended the showcase with a big win in overtime, so at least we came away with one positive thing.

-- On plans for the upcoming off weekend.

I'm not really sure what I'm going to do yet. I'm used to having hockey every weekend, but I think I'm just going to relax and hang out with the family since they don't really get to see me that much.

-- On what he is thankful for in life.

I'm thankful for my family because without them, anything I have ever done or do would not be possible. They have always been there for me through good and bad and even if I'm right or wrong, they always have my back no matter what. Most importantly, I would not be the man I am today without them in my life and for that, I am thankful.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Holm the OT hero, Jets topple Flying Aces at NA3HL Showcase

ROMEOVILLE, Ill. - Brad Hepler scored in the final minute to tie the game and then Alex Holm's goal 2:52 into overtime lifted the Metro Jets to a dramatic 6-5 win over the Minnesota Flying Aces Monday afternoon at the NA3HL Showcase.

Hepler added two assists for a three-point game, while Cody Jones scored twice and Jets' captain Josh Beleski had a goal with an assist in the win.

Zach Kopinski scored the other Metro goal and Trevor Kalinowski made 26 saves for the win between the pipes.

The Jets (9-15-1) next play two games at Lakeland Arena next Saturday and Sunday (Dec. 7-8) against the Pittsburgh Vengeance. Game time for the Saturday game is 7:50 p.m. with an 11:50 a.m. start time for the series finale.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Jets lose third-period lead, fall to Steel at Showcase

ROMEOVILLE, Ill. - Cooper McLean scored for the third straight game, but it wasn't enough as the Twin City Steel scored three unanswered goals in the third period to knock off the Metro Jets 4-3 Sunday night at the NA3HL Showcase.

Kyle Downey and Cody Jones also scored for the Jets, who took a 3-1 lead into the third period, but could not hang on.

Davide Mantovani suffered the loss in goal for Metro.

The Jets wrap up the Showcase Monday afternoon at noon EST against the Minnesota Flying Aces.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

McLean scores again, but Jets dropped by Peoria

ROMEOVILLE, Ill. - The Peoria Mustangs defeated the Metro Jets 7-2 Saturday night at the NA3HL Showcase.

Metro captain Josh Beleski and Cooper McLean scored in the loss.

Kameron Limburg made 17 saves between the pipes for the Jets.

Metro next plays the Twin City Steel Sunday night at 8 p.m. EST.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Jets drop first game at NA3HL Showcase to Granite City

ROMEOVILLE, Ill. - Cooper McLean scored the first goal of the game for the Metro Jets, but the Granite City Lumberjacks then rattled off eight unanswered to top the Jets 8-1 Friday afternoon at the NA3HL Showcase.

Trevor Kalinowski made 30 saves in goal for the Jets.

Metro (8-13-1) next plays the Peoria Mustangs Saturday at 5 p.m. EST.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Metro goaltender Limburg stepping up his game in net

WATERFORD, Mich. – Kam Limburg is in a comfort zone this season with the Metro Jets.

His first foray into junior hockey, the 18-year-old Howell native is one of three goaltenders on the Jets’ roster (with Trevor Kalinowski and Davide Mantovani) and is enjoying his time in the North American 3 Hockey League after leaving home last year to play for the Chicago Fury 18U AAA team.

It also helps that Metro assistant coach Randy Wilson has been a mentor of sorts for Limburg as he progresses as a goaltender.

“I have known Randy for a while, so when I was in need of a place to play over the summer, he invited me to our camp and I was offered a spot on the team,” Limburg said. “I was very happy when this happened because this was close to home for me and gave me a chance to play junior hockey for a great team. I feel that last season prepared me well for junior hockey because it was pretty fast-paced and had a lot of good players to keep me sharp. Many players from that league and team went on to play junior hockey, so it was great preparation.”

So far this season, Limburg has gone 4-6-0 with a 3.62 goals-against average and a .884 save percentage. Kalinowski has three wins and Mantovani has picked up one victory.

Jets’ coach Justin Quenneville said it’s always a good problem to have with three goaltenders capable of being the No. 1 starter.

“Kam has definitely stepped up his game lately and we’ve needed that from our goalies,” said Quenneville. “Our goalies work hard and they push themselves in practice, but you’ve got to be able to compete in a game – you chose the position, you’ve got to find a way to win games. I’ve asked them to be responsible for their first shots, not so much worrying about what happens afterwards, but just doing the best you can to give us a chance to win and I think that lately, they’ve all done that.”

“The competition between Davide, Trevor and myself is pretty friendly and we all get along great,” added Limburg. “We spend a lot of time together in the hotel room on road trips. That being said, we all push ourselves and each other to be the best that we can be, and mainly just try to win games for our team when we get the chance to play.”

Limburg also touched on what Quenneville said about his game going up a notch.

“I think I have been gaining confidence over the past few weeks from playing well and it's been a little easier to get on a roll with more steady game time,” said Limburg. “I think I have adjusted to the NA3 better since I have been seeing more games. At first, I thought it was pretty fast-paced, but over the course of the season, the game has seemed to slow down for me.

“Coming into the league, I did not know much about it, but now that I have been here for this season, I believe that it is a great league to play in with a lot of skilled players. I would say that it is a little underrated and I think that’s mostly because it is classified as Tier III.”

Wilson has also been a major player in helping Limburg get acclimated to the junior hockey style of game.

“Working with Randy has been awesome,” beamed Limburg. “I think he has helped me improve my game greatly since the start of the season. One of the big things he tells me is to be patient and has also helped me with my puck play. I think he has tweaked my style a little bit (for the better) and he tries to help all three of us change little things in our game, without changing our styles completely.”

This past Sunday, after losing Saturday night at home to Flint, Limburg dressed as Mantovani’s backup for the game in Flint – a game the Jets lost on a power-play goal at 18:58 of the third period. Limburg said watching the game unfold the way it did was frustrating.

“When Flint scored the game-winner on Sunday, as a goalie, I just kind of felt my heart drop a little bit because I have been there before and it is always a terrible feeling,” said Limburg. “For Davide to battle like he did through the whole game and play as great as he did, and really give our team a chance to win, I could definitely feel for him because it is extremely frustrating when you cannot come out with a win at the end of it. I was very proud of him for the way he played and our team was, too.”

And while Limburg has aspirations to be playing up a level in the North American Hockey League for the 2014-15 season, he’s focused on doing what he can to push the Jets up the East Division standings this year.

“I see our team being able to finish high in the standings and going deep into the playoffs because I know that we have a great group of guys that play for each other and when we play the way we are capable of playing, we can be pretty scary,” Limburg said. “On a personal level, I'm looking to get my stats back up to where I know they can be, but mainly I am just going to try to give my team the chance to win each and every hockey game because in the end, all that really matters for our team is the wins column.”


Flint took both ends of the home-and-home with Metro last weekend and now has its record at a remarkable 21-0-1.

The Jr. Generals took a 5-1 win Saturday night at Lakeland Arena.

Brad Hepler scored late for the Jets to break Nathan Klebe's shutout bid.

Klebe made 35 saves, while Limburg stopped 20 for the Jets.

“I tell the guys all the time that this is like climbing a mountain – you take a tumble, but you have to keep climbing up,” said Quenneville. “We want to make sure we keep climbing throughout the season and that we’re not only getting better as a team, but getting better individually, learning from our mistakes and having a short memory. A short memory is the best thing for a hockey player, whether it’s a bad shift or a bad play, we’ve got to find a way to compete night in and night out.”

Then Sunday at Iceland Arenas, Brett Leppek's power-play goal with 1:02 left in the third period broke a 1-1 tie and Flint held on for a 2-1 win.

Jets' defenseman Luke Thom had tied the game at 6:37 of the third period.

Mantovani made 42 saves, while Anders Franke stopped 24 shots for Flint.

“Sunday’s loss was really tough,” Metro captain Josh Beleski said. “We played as a unit and kept the pressure on them all night, but we took a stupid penalty at the end of the game that cost us the win. We play them two more times this season, so we will make sure we get them next time because even the best have to lose.”

The Jets (8-12-1) now get set to travel to Romeoville, Ill., this weekend to partake in the NA3HL Showcase. Metro plays the Granite City Lumberjacks Friday at 2 p.m. EST, the Peoria Mustangs Saturday at 5 p.m., the Twin City Steel Sunday at 8 p.m. and then the Minnesota Flying Aces Monday at noon.

All games will be available on


Forward Michael Muller signed with the Jets last week and made his debut in the two Flint games.

Muller, an 18-year-old from White Lake, played last season for Orchard Lake St. Mary’s High School.

“I didn’t expect too much of him (with Saturday being his first game of the season) and I knew he would compete, but I didn’t want to see him run around with his head cut off,” said Quenneville. “He responded well and he went out there with intensity and the right mindset that he wanted to make our team better, not just go out there and skate.”


Goaltender Riley Corbin, who started last season with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League and finished up with the Jets, is now playing for the Trail Smoke Eaters of the British Columbia Hockey League.

Corbin, an 18-year-old native of Thunder Bay, Ont., went 9-6-0 with a 2.66 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage, along with three shutouts.

 In Trail, Corbin is 2-4-0 thus far with a 3.70 GAA and a .902 save percentage.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Captain's Corner - Heartbreaking loss to Flint, NA3HL Showcase

Each week during the 2013-14 season, Metro Jets’ captain Josh Beleski will give his thoughts on topics surrounding the team as it makes its way through the North American 3 Hockey League season, the 25th for the Jets as a junior franchise. 

-- On losing Sunday in Flint with 1:02 left in the third period.

Sunday’s loss was really tough. We played as a unit and kept the pressure on them all night, but we took a stupid penalty at the end of the game that cost us the win. We play them two more times this season, so we will make sure we get them next time because even the best have to lose.

-- On showing the Jets can skate with the NA3HL's best team.

I feel like we proved that we can play with anyone when we come out to play. To be honest, that's not even our best – we could have done better than that. Next time we see them, we will make sure that we come away with a win and show the league what kind of team we really are.

-- On what to expect this weekend at the NA3HL Showcase in Romeoville, Ill.

The Showcase is going to show everyone what kind of team we are. We know it's going to be a long and hard road trip, but I think we will be fine. The guys know how important this weekend is and it's an opportunity for all of them to get looked at. Our goal is to come away with four big wins and turn our season around in the right direction.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Leppek's late power-play goal lifts Flint past Jets Sunday

FLINT, Mich. - Brett Leppek's power-play goal at 18:58 of the third period broke a 1-1 tie and the Flint Jr. Generals held on for a 2-1 win Sunday afternoon over the Metro Jets at Iceland Arenas.

Flint runs its record to a NA3HL-best 21-0-1 with the victory.

Jets' defenseman Luke Thom had tied the game at 6:37 of the third period.

Metro goaltender Davide Mantovani made 42 saves, while Anders Franke stopped 24 shots for Flint.

The Jets (8-12-1) now get set to travel to Romeoville, Ill., next weekend to partake in the NA3HL Showcase.

Metro plays the Granite City Lumberjacks Friday at 2 p.m. EST, the Peoria Mustangs Saturday at 5 p.m., the Twin City Steel Sunday at 8 p.m. and then the Minnesota Flying Aces Monday at noon.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Jets downed Saturday night at home by Jr. Generals

WATERFORD, Mich. - The Flint Jr. Generals maintained their NA3HL-best record with a 5-1 win Saturday night over the Metro Jets at Lakeland Arena.

Flint is now 20-0-1 on the season.

Brad Hepler scored late for the Jets to break Nathan Klebe's shutout bid.

Klebe made 35 saves, while Kameron Limburg stopped 20 for the Jets.

The two teams rematch Sunday at Flint's Iceland Arenas at 2:30 p.m.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Metro defenseman Hepler improving at two-way game

WATERFORD, Mich. – It’s not often a defenseman leads his team in scoring, but that’s what Brad Hepler is doing this year for the Metro Jets.

A second-year vet, Hepler has recorded 18 points going into this weekend, but said he is just playing a simple game and the luck is going his way.

“I have been working hard on my passing and getting the puck to the open guy,” said the 19-year-old from Chelsea. “The forwards have been doing a good job at what they do.”

Acquired last year from the Cleveland Jr. Lumberjacks for forward Jeff Monfils, Hepler attended several main tryout camps for North American Hockey League teams this past summer, but came up just a bit short.

He said it was a no-lose situation as coming back to Waterford can only help his game.

“So far this season, I believe that I have been steady, but there is still room for improvement,” Hepler said. “As far as the team goes, we need to keep working hard and improve our overall game as a team. Coach Justin (Quenneville) has been doing a great job at taking over and making us a better team and all the players, including myself, like Coach Justin and his systems.”

On the ice, it’s hard not to notice Hepler as his 6-foot-4 frame immediately is on display.

“I think on the offensive side, my size limits other players from getting to the puck,” explained Hepler. “On the defensive side, my size becomes a factor in blocking shots and clearing the zone.”

Already armed with the knowledge needed to crack an NAHL team this year or next, Hepler wants to keep contributing for Metro with an eye on his future.

“My goals are to hopefully get called up to an NAHL team this year or next year and then playing for a good college program,” said Hepler. “Our team goal is to finish up the second half of the year strong and make the playoffs.”


Kyle Shreve, a forward that skated with the Jets last year, is currently on the NAHL's Springfield Jr. Blues roster.

The 18-year-old Walled Lake native has registered three goals and eight points so far in 16 games with the Jr. Blues.

During the 2012-13 campaign with the Jets, Shreve averaged a point per game with 13 goals and 11 assists for 24 points in 24 games.

Shreve signed a tender agreement last season with Springfield.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Jets' forward Shand earns recall to NAHL's Jr. Blues

WATERFORD, Mich. – The Metro Jets of the North American 3 Hockey League announced today that forward Kevin Shand has been recalled by the Springfield Jr. Blues of the North American Hockey League.

Shand, an 18-year-old native of Saline, Mich., started the season in Springfield before being reassigned to the Jets where he tallied eight goals and nine assists in just nine games.

He leaves Metro second in team scoring.

“It was a great lesson coming to the Jets and I really enjoyed my time there,” said Shand, who is expected to be in the Jr. Blues’ lineup this weekend on the road against the Coulee Region Chill. “I feel like I am coming back to Springfield with improved work ethic and skill and more confidence with and without the puck. “I'm expecting a lot more leadership and commitment out of myself because of my experience with the Jets. It taught me a lot and definitely helped me mature as both a player and a person.”

Jets’ head coach Justin Quenneville, who also has experience coaching at the NAHL level, couldn’t be happier for Shand.

“Kevin came here not treating the situation as a demotion and really shined in the role we put him in,” said Quenneville. “The model we have here in Metro and really, in all of the NA3HL, is to move players on when they are ready and not hold guys back just to make our team better. If we have a player who is ready for the NAHL or higher levels, we don’t want them with us longer than they need to be.”

The Jets (8-10-1) play a home-and-home series with the Flint Jr. Generals this weekend starting Saturday night at Lakeland Arena for a 7:50 p.m. puck drop. The series wraps up Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at Iceland Arenas in Flint.

Captain's Corner - Cincinnati, Quenneville, Flint weekend

Each week during the 2013-14 season, Metro Jets’ captain Josh Beleski will give his thoughts on topics surrounding the team as it makes its way through the North American 3 Hockey League season, the 25th for the Jets as a junior franchise. 

-- On splitting last weekend in Cincinnati.

Our first game was a disappointment. We were in the game going into the third. Once we got out there in the third, we took a couple penalties and they capitalized on their chances. Sunday’s game was a different story. We came out as a team and worked together and came away with a big win.

-- On splitting the last two road trips - losing Saturday, winning Sunday.

I think the guys aren't really ready to play on Saturday, so we don't play our best game and we get beat. After we lose, I feel like the guys get serious about the weekend and come out hard on our Sunday games and that's why we win on Sunday all the time.

-- On adjusting to head coach Justin Quenneville.

I would say the team feels extremely comfortable with Q on the bench. Q is a great coach and a great guy. He is definitely one of those coaches that will do anything to help his players out and I think that's what the boys like about him most.
-- On this weekend's home-and-home with Flint.

This weekend is going to be tough. Flint is a very good team, but everyone loses sooner or later and I think this weekend, the guys want to come out and make a statement by sweeping the best team in the league. We just need to make sure we come out to play on Saturday and Sunday, not just one day.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Shand explodes for five points as Jets top Swords Sunday

CINCINNATI, Ohio - Kevin Shand scored twice and added three assists as the Metro Jets took a 6-1 win and earned a series split with the Cincinnati Swords Sunday afternoon at SportsPlus Cincinnati.

Jets' captain Josh Beleski tacked on a goal and two assists, while James Roznowski added a goal and a helper.

Adam Lockner and Brad Hepler also scored for Metro and Kameron Limburg stopped 32 shots in goal.

The Jets (8-10-1) next host the Flint Jr. Generals next Friday night at 7:50 p.m. at Lakeland Arena before going to Flint to play the Jr. Generals Sunday afternoon at Iceland Arenas for a 2:30 p.m. puck drop.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Metro stumbles Satutrday night in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI, Ohio - Nick Haase registered two goals and two assists as the Cincinnati Swords defeated the Metro Jets 6-2 Saturday night at SportsPlus Cincinnati.

Alex Holm and Matt Dempsey scored for the Jets, while Trevor Kalinowski and Kameron Limburg combined to stop 22 shots in goal.

The weekend series concludes Sunday afternoon with a 1 p.m. puck drop.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jets' captain Beleski serving team, soon to serve country

WATERFORD, Mich. – Josh Beleski will soon be serving his country, but for now, he’s enjoying his time serving the Metro Jets as team captain.

Picked to wear the ‘C’ in September, the 20-year-old Southgate native also decided to enlist in the Navy and will be shipping off to boot camp some time next year, perhaps before the Jets’ North American 3 Hockey League season ends.

Until that time comes, Beleski is working to fine-tune his game on the ice and help Metro move up the NA3HL standings.

“I feel like I'm improving everyday,” said Beleski, now in his third season with the Jets. “I'm always trying to learn from my mistakes and stay positive with everything I do and if I do that, then it not only helps me, but shows my teammates that mistakes are going to happen. It's what you do after the mistake that matters. I just need to keep working hard everyday and make sure I'm being the best leader I can be for my team.”

Now two months into his stint as captain, Beleski said he has added pressure, but it’s to be expected.

”I know what I need to do when I come to the rink everyday and I know that my team looks up to me in certain situations,” Beleski said. “To be honest, I like the added pressure. I feel like it makes me step up my game and helps me build leadership skills that I can use the rest of my life.”

Those skills will be put to the test next year at Naval Station Great Lakes, the nation’s only Navy boot camp. Located near Chicago, Beleski is excited to start the next chapter of his life when the time is right.

“I've wanted to join the military for a long time now, but just never really knew what branch I wanted to go into,” said Beleski. “I decided to go with the Navy because they offer the best opportunity for me and I thought it would be nice to follow in my grandfather’s and father’s footsteps and become a sailor. I have already been sworn in and after boot camp, I'm going on active duty where I'll be out in the field with the Marines as a combat medic.”

Beleski said the biggest change over his time in Waterford, and this may have something to do with making the choice to join the Navy, has been an improved attitude.

“I feel like I have grown into more of a man and a better leader over the past few years I have been here,” Beleski said. “A lot of that has to do with the coaching staff I've had over the last couple seasons. They have taught me a ton of new things about the game of hockey, but most importantly, they also taught me some valuable life lessons that I will use the rest of my life and I'm thankful for that. I can't really pick out one favorite memory because they are all pretty special, but I will always remember the road trips I took over the years those were probably the best memories.”

As for the Jets, Beleski feels the club is one momentum swing away from going on a run in NA3HL play.

“I'm going to continue to do what I do and that is work hard everyday and be the best leader I can be,” said Beleski. “As a team, I think we are heading in the right direction and by the end of the year, I think we will be one of the top teams in the league competing for the championship.”


Currently in fifth place in the East Division, the Jets are just one point back of fourth-place Toledo and three back of third-place Pittsburgh.

Metro is 4-3-0 on home ice and 3-6-1 away from Lakeland Arena.


John Burkart, an assistant coach on the 2001-02 Silver Cup-winning Jets’ Junior B national championship team, is now an amateur scout with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning.

After the Jets, Burkart was an assistant coach under current Lightning head coach Jon Cooper, the head coach of the ’01-02 Jets, in the North American Hockey League with the Texarkana Bandits and with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League, winning championships at each stop.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Captain's Corner - weekend split, Flint thoughts, Cincinnati

Each week during the 2013-14 season, Metro Jets’ captain Josh Beleski will give his thoughts on topics surrounding the team as it makes its way through the North American 3 Hockey League season, the 25th for the Jets as a junior franchise. 

-- On losing to Flint, beating the Mountain Cats last weekend.

I thought we had a decent weekend. Even though we lost to Flint, I still think we played a great game. The reason we lost that game is because we spent all night in the box. And when we weren't in the box, we played a great game and probably would have went into overtime 0-0. The game against the Mountain Cats was pretty rough – we did not play our game and we let them hang around all game, but we still came away with the win and that's all that matters.

-- On the different between the Jets and Flint.

Flint’s a good team, but are they a great team? No, I don't think so. The only difference between Flint and us is that they take advantage of other team’s mistakes and we are struggling with that. When we have the opportunity to make other teams pay, we don't. We let them hang around, but that will all change. We know we can beat any team in the league and we just need to want it more than they do.

-- On playing Cincinnati on the road this weekend.

We prepare like we do for any other team – work hard all week in practice. Try to correct the mistakes we made in the week before and just come out and play to our potential day in and day out.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Beleski's three points Saturday night push Jets beat Cats

WATERFORD, Mich. - Metro Jets' captain Josh Beleski recorded two goals and an assist as the Jets doubled up the Michigan Mountain Cats 4-2 Saturday night at Lakeland Arena.

Zach Kopinski and Kevin Shand also scored and Trevor Kalinowski made 24 saves for the win in goal.

Shawn Cornock and John Arms scored for the Mountain Cats.

The Jets (7-9-1) travel to Cincinnati to play the Swords next weekend (Nov. 9-10) for a two-game set.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Jr. Generals shut out Jets Friday night in Flint

FLINT, Mich. - The Flint Jr. Generals had a three-goal lead after two periods and cruised the rest of the way en route to a 4-0 win over the Metro Jets Friday night at Iceland Arenas.

Jets' goaltender Kameron Limburg recorded 33 saves in the game.

The Jets host the Michigan Mountain Cats Saturday night at Lakeland Arena. Game time set for 7:50 p.m.