Friday, February 19, 2010

Griffore biding his time in Metro net

Anthony Griffore hasn’t seen one minute of game action this year for the Metro Jets, but complaints will not come from the rookie goaltender.

The team’s third goaltender behind Ian Mercer and R.J. Heath, Griffore has dressed for games when one of Mercer or Heath has had the night off, but the most rubber he sees is in practice or pre-game warm-ups.

Griffore’s attitude on being the No. 3 goalie is one that has rubbed off on his teammates and the Metro coaching staff.

“I’ve never once heard Anthony complain about playing time,” said Metro GM Butch Wolfe. “He works hard in practice and keeps the players loose in the locker room. He came from a well-run AAA program (Lansing Capitals) and has the knowledge and potential to play in this league. Problem is, he got stuck behind two NAHL-caliber goalies this year and has had to bide his time. And he’s been OK with that.”

Griffore, an 18-year-old from Milford, may see his first start in one of the Jets’ last five games. Metro is not going to the CSHL playoffs and to play against Dubuque, St. Louis or Pittsburgh may be an audition for next season, according to Wolfe.

“I’d love to see him at game speed and see what he can do,” Wolfe said. “The potential is definitely there and to see how he performs against one of the league’s top teams would be a huge measuring stick for us to see what he may be able to do for us next season.”


The Jets earned three points last weekend with a win and a heartbreaking shootout loss.

Jon Wickersham recorded three points and Mercer stopped all 30 shots he faced as the Jets blanked the Grand Rapids Jr. Owls, 4-0, Friday night on the road.

Wickersham scored twice and added an assist as the Jets earned their tenth win of the season.

Justin Vinson and Jon Elliott also scored for Metro, while Brett Grech and captain Mike Corder each chipped in with two assists.

The shutout was the Jets' third this season and Mercer has been in net for all of them.

Metro carried a 5-2 lead into the middle of the third period Saturday night at Lakeland Arena, but the Flint Jr. Generals scored three straight over the final 10 minutes to tie the game and then won it in the shootout.

Mercer made 49 saves for the Jets, now 10-29-0-4.

Tim Hooker led the Jets' offense with a goal and two assists. His shorthanded goal at 8:21 of the third period gave Metro their 5-2 lead, but then Brent Duwe (9:05), Nathan Scurfield (power play at 17:56) and ex-Jets' defenseman Ryan Eby (19:26) rallied Flint to send the game to overtime.

After a scoreless five-minute overtime, Thomas Friedrich's goal in the ninth round of the shootout gave the Jr. Generals the win. Grech and Wickersham scored shootout goals for the Jets.

Vinson, David Merkle and Mike Denston each posted a goal and an assist for the Jets, while Joe Rutkowski scored the other and Will Saley chipped in two assists.

The Jets host the Dubuque Thunderbirds tonight at Lakeland at 8:10 p.m. in their only game this week.

Remaining games on ’09-10 schedule:
Fri. Feb. 19 vs. Dubuque
Sat. Feb. 27 @ St. Louis
Sun. Feb. 28 @ St. Louis
Sat. Mar. 6 vs. Pittsburgh
Sun. Mar. 7 vs. Pittsburgh


With his two goals Friday night, Wickersham became the fourth Jets’ player with 10 or more goals this season. Wickersham now has 10, while Josh Magnan has 16, Elliott has 14 and Grech has posted 11.


Defenseman Steven Oleksy, who started this season in the ECHL with the Toledo Walleye and then scored his first professional goal with the IHL’s Port Huron Icehawks, has caught on with the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads and has one assist in 11 games thus far.

Oleksy, a 24-year-old native of Chesterfield, played for the Jets during the 2003-2004 season.

Photo by Andy Grossman

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