Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gallagher a much-needed spark plug for Metro

Imagine if Patrick Gallagher had been with the Metro Jets all season long.

The past can’t be changed, but Gallagher, a 20-year-old native of Plymouth, has stepped in and made a huge impact on the Jets with his goal-per-game scoring clip.

“Gallagher is here to put the puck in the net,” Metro assistant coach Ryan Skop said. “He’s not a great defensive forward and not a tough guy. Gallagher’s a guy who has a nose for the net and has a real heavy shot.”

Since his arrival on Dec. 4, Gallagher has 10 goals (four on the power play) and 16 points in just 10 games wearing a Jets’ uniform. He scored four in Metro’s 8-7 shootout win over Grand Rapids on Dec. 13, with two of them coming in the dying seconds of the third period to force overtime and ultimately, the shootout.

Gallagher (pictured) made his debut in Chicago on Dec. 5 and contributed a goal and an assist. He’s gone pointless in just two games this season – both games against Quad City at the CSHL Showcase last month.

According to Skop, the Jets had been after Gallagher since his brief stint in the North American Hockey League with the Wichita Falls Wildcats at the start of last season.

“We had been recruiting him since last spring,” Skop said. “Eventually, things worked out and he became a Jet and so far, it’s been a good marriage. He’s putting up better than a point per game, is working on our first line and our first power-play group. He’s just as natural a goal scorer as you’ll ever find.”


Metro (5-25-0-1) returned from the holiday break last weekend to host the top two teams in the CSHL and came away with two losses to St. Louis and Toledo.

St. Louis beat the Jets, 13-2, while Toledo took a 9-1 decision.

Gallagher and David Williams (Bloomfield Hills) scored in the St. Louis game, while Colin Greeley (Howell) and Andrew Corcoran combined to make 27 saves.

Against Toledo, Ryan Eby (Linden) tallied the lone goal and Nickolas Ceccolini (Dexter) finished with 32 saves.

The Jets went a combined 0-for-17 on the power play over the weekend.

Just one game is on the Jets’ schedule this week as the Flint Jr. Generals invade Lakeland Arena tonight for a 7:40 p.m. faceoff. The game will also be broadcast live online by the Michigan Regional Sports Network – The next game MRSN will broadcast is on Jan. 31, also against Flint.

Metro is 1-1 this season against Flint with one of their five wins coming in a 6-3 win back on Oct. 4 in Flint.


Forward Kevin Wittenberg was released Thursday. Wittenberg, 20, had a goal and an assist in 16 games this season for the Jets since being added to the roster Nov. 7 from the since-folded Wisconsin Junior Hockey League’s Pleasant Prairie Ice Devils.

Forward Mike Garvie was traded today to the Minnesota Flying Aces of the Minnesota Junior Hockey League. His lone goal was the shootout winner against Grand Rapids.

Former Metro forward Nick Kenney (Wixom), who played for the Jets two seasons ago, was named the NAHL North Division Player of the Week this past week after putting up three goals and three assists for the Mahoning Valley Phantoms in the Phantoms’ three games against the Traverse City North Stars last weekend.

Defenseman Steve Lockwood (Clarkston) leads the CSHL in penalty minutes with 170 and the Jets have begun receiving calls of interest from NAHL teams inquiring as to his availability come next year.


Ryan Compeau, a forward who had 11 points in 10 games with the Jets back in 2006-2007, is currently a freshman on the Marian University Division III team in Fond du Lac, Wis.

Compeau, a 20-year-old Romeo native, has a goal in three games this season with the Sabres, members of the Midwest Collegiate Hockey Association, a league that also has Michigan schools Adrian College and Finlandia University.

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