Friday, February 20, 2009

Jets staying upbeat despite losing season

Coming to the rink everyday and continuing to work hard is not an easy thing when your team has just six wins on the season.

Still, many of the Metro Jets players make it look easy by consistently lacing up their skates and going the full 60 minutes, win or lose.

“I think all of the guys who are here show good character,” Metro assistant coach Ryan Skop said. “As a coach, I don’t really have any other option than to stay focused. Although this has been the most frustrating year of hockey I’ve ever been involved with, we’ve got guys here who continue to grind it out for us and we’ll continue to grind it out for them.”

With four games left in the regular season, the end can’t come soon enough. Skop said he’d be watching some of the younger players intently with the notion he’d like to see them back in Waterford next year.

“I’d like to see (the younger players) step up and start pushing themselves harder and making an impact on game day,” said Skop. “They’re getting plenty of opportunity right now and they need to make the most of it.”

Veteran-wise, team captain Adam Novack and defenseman Brett Grech have stood out as players Skop said continue to “work hard and punch the clock.”

“When you look at the 40-plus guys who have come through our doors this year, guys that have been here for the duration have shown to be leaders and Novy and Grech are the leaders of that pack,” Skop said. “Our goaltenders, mainly (Colin) Greeley and Dexter (Nickolas Ceccolini), have shown good character for continuing to come back for the abuse they get. Guys like Vinny (Justin Vinson), Sal (Will Saley) and Woody (Steve Lockwood) are sticking it out and (Tyler) Schofield, Pauly (Paul Elezaj) and (Dustin) Jones have been here all year, haven’t gotten much ice time, yet continue to come in and work hard everyday.

“Even guys who came on board recently, like (Matt) McCaig, Jake Williams, (Sean) Carlock (who played with the Jets last season) and David Williams, knew they were coming to a losing team, but came here to work hard and have shown they want to move on to a higher level.”

That said, the Jets must win their remaining four games to eclipse last season’s win total, but it’s not necessarily the top priority at this time.

“I expect us to play hard regardless of the score,” added Skop. “If we’re 40-5 or 5-40, we still need to keep learning and keep showing our character.”


Last weekend was one the Jets would like to forget as they dropped two straight in Queen City by scores of 14-5 and 12-3.

Novack had eight points (five goals, three assists) on the weekend and needs just one more for 50 on the season. He’s also suddenly in the top 15 CSHL scoring leaders after an 11-point outburst over his last three games. Grech added a five-point weekend, McCaig scored three goals and David Williams rang up three assists.

All four goalies – Greeley, Ceccolini, Andrew Corcoran and Kevin Kinnie – saw time for the Jets as well.

This weekend, Metro (6-33-1-1) heads to Cleveland for a two-game set with the Jr. Lumberjacks. Cleveland has taken both previous games this season from the Jets, outscoring Metro by an 18-4 margin.

Game time Saturday night is 9:00 p.m. at Ice Land USA and 1:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

The Jets then play single games next Saturday night in Grand Rapids and the following Friday in Toledo to close out the season.


Greeley was the lone CSHL player listed on the United States Hockey League’s Central Scouting list released last week of 1992-born players eligible for May’s USHL draft.


Tough guy Chris Junis, who played both forward and defense for the Jets from 1998-2001, is now a USA Hockey referee at every level and has a full-time job with Powers Packaging.

Junis is a West Bloomfield native.

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