Friday, October 30, 2009

Lockwood more than just fists for Jets

Every team needs an enforcer-type player and Steve Lockwood fills that role to a ‘T’ for the Metro Jets.

Lockwood, a 19-year-old native of Clarkston, led the CSHL with 261 penalty minutes last year and is once again near the top of the pack this year. While improving his play on the back end for the Jets, his on-ice presence is a big factor during games.

“For Woody, his biggest and best asset is his physical play,” Metro assistant coach Ryan Skop said. “The opposition knows when he's on the ice. I think it makes everyone on our team a little more comfortable knowing we've got Woody there to keep the flies away.”

Still, in comparing last season to this current season, Skop said Lockwood’s play with his gloves on continues to impress the Jets’ coaching staff.

“His overall game has taken a giant step forward from last year,” said Skop. “He's playing in all situations and handling it well. He's doing an excellent job for us on the penalty kill. Having a big body like that (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) really helps our kill. He owns the front of his net, and if our opposition wants to go there, he makes them pay. He's started to see the power play and is doing a good job of getting his heavy shot through and on net.”

Lockwood has been partnered much of the year with rookie Steve Vandenberghe and the two developed instant chemistry.

“Woody does a good job supporting Vandy with the physical side of the game and Vandy does a good job helping Woody when he's got the puck on their stick,” explained Skop.

And with two wins in their back pocket after last weekend, the Jets are on a roll and some of the credit goes to the veterans like Lockwood.

‘Going through the season we did last year, and then the start that we had this year, the onus really fell on the veteran guys to put the team on their back and step it up,” Skop added. “A real character check, Woody's been the vet who’s most led the way.

“We expect a lot from Woody the rest of the way here. He's gotten better every week and hopefully, he can continue that trend.”


Metro won two straight games at Lakeland Arena last weekend in topping Flint Saturday night and then Motor City Sunday afternoon.

Both were blue-collar efforts that have begun to be the team’s trademark in the early going of this season and Ian Mercer earned his first two wins of the season in goal.

Against Flint, Brett Grech’s power-play goal midway through the third period was all the Jets needed as they rode Mercer’s 30-save performance to a 1-0 shutout.

Jon Wickersham shadowed Flint star Matt Cinader all night long and kept the 14-goal scorer off the scoresheet, along with the rest of the Jr. Generals.

Sunday afternoon, four different skaters – Grech, Mike Denston, Josh Magnan and Jon Elliott – scored and Mercer stopped 30 shots in a 4-1 victory.

Vinnie Pietrangelo added two assists.

This weekend, Metro plays just one game as it hosts Queen City Saturday night at 7:50 p.m.


All three of the Jets' wins this year have come at home, where they are 3-4-0-1.


Nick Kenney, a forward from Wixom who led the Jets in scoring during the 2006-2007 season, is now a freshman at Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Kenney registered 31 goals and 35 assists three years ago and finished in a fifth-place tie among all CSHL scorers.

Photo by Andy Grossman

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