Friday, October 31, 2008

Ceccolini dedicated to daily improvement

His Metro Jets teammates jokingly call him “Dexter,” but once game time rolls around and it’s his turn in net, Nickolas Ceccolini can be called a competitor.

Ceccolini, with the aforementioned nickname due to his hometown just outside of Ann Arbor, started this season as the Jets’ No. 3 goaltender, but through hard work and dedication to improvement is now the backup to starter Colin Greeley (Howell).

After riding the bench the first five games of the season, Ceccolini got the call Sept. 21 in Peoria and made 47 saves in a 3-2 shootout loss.

“He never complained about not getting into the lineup,” Jets assistant coach Ryan Skop said. “I think Dexter's been a good team guy. Certainly, there's always room to work harder and I think he's a guy who's still learning how to work at this level. His practice habits have come a long way since the beginning of the season.

“He's a pretty big kid (6-foot-3, 180 pounds), and there isn't much to shoot at when you're looking. Almost always he does his job and makes the first save.”

Ceccolini, 18, earned his first win of the season on Oct. 4 with a 49-save outing in beating Flint, 6-3. Metro head coach Jamie Hayden thinks more wins can come the young goaltender’s way if he keeps tweaking each facet of his game.

“Its great to have two good goalies that have both played very well even the team has had a slow start, but it is good to create that type of competition between them to push each other to get better,” said Hayden. “Nick still has some things to work on to get his game and himself to the next level, but so long as he continues to put in the hard work there is no reason to think he can’t move on to either the NAHL or college within the next two years.”

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