Thursday, February 25, 2010

Schofield getting recognized with Jets

The casual observer might not notice Metro Jets’ defenseman Tyler Schofield, but if that happens, that’s a good thing.

Schofield, one of just a handful of second-year Metro players, has seen his game mature from last season when he looked tentative and hesitant at times. He’s now a confident skater in his own end and plays an ever-improving smart game.

“I feel good this season compared to last season,” said Schofield, an 18-year-old from Clio. “I feel a lot more confident with the puck and I think I have more patience than last year. I haven’t accomplished everything I would have hoped for, but it’s still been a good year.”

Those thoughts were echoed by Metro coach Ryan Skop.

“I think last year when he first started with us, he was a bit unsure of himself and his ability,” Skop said. “He could do some things pretty well, but just didn't have the confidence to make it work. This year, I think Tyler's really found a role that he's comfortable with and he does it very well.”

Just 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, Schofield will never be mistaken for a big physical presence on the back end, but what he does do is make very good decisions with the puck.

“I’m not a big, strong guy, so I feel it makes me have to play smarter,” Schofield said. “I think my strengths are my vision. I see the ice pretty well and I feel I have good hands, which also help me a lot.”

Skop explained Schofield’s smarts.

“He's a guy who, when given the chance, can really settle our power play unit down and generate some quality chances by simply making the right decision with the puck,” added Skop. “He'll make a good first pass out of our end and for the most part, be in position defensively. He's accepted the fact that quite often, the best play is simply glass and out. He has no problem with that. Keeping it simple defensively is Schoey’s biggest asset.”

Heading into the offseason, Schofield will have a full slate of spring and summer training to get him ready for wherever he may land in 2010-2011.

“During the offseason, I plan on working out and getting stronger,” said Schofield. “I also need to work on my speed, so I plan on doing a lot of quick feet and such for that and try and make myself a better player.”

“For Ty, his focus should be getting to the gym and improving his strength during the offseason,” Skop said. “He's got all the tools between the ears to be a real impact guy at this level and now, it's just about improvement on other areas.

“Ty's a hard worker, though, and I'm sure he'll get it done.”


The Dubuque Thunderbirds jumped out to a 4-0 lead and held on to beat the Jets, 4-3, Friday night at Lakeland Arena.

Dubuque led 2-0 after the first period and 4-2 after 40 minutes as Steve Lockwood and Mike Denston tallied for the Jets to make it a two-goal game going into the final period.

Brett Grech scored at 18:27 of the third period with goalie Ian Mercer on the bench for the extra skater, but Metro couldn't find the equalizer.

Mercer finished with 28 stops between the pipes and Lockwood and Grech each added an assist to finish with two-point games.

The Jets (10-30-0-4) are on the road this weekend for a pair in St. Louis. Metro then closes out the regular season next weekend by hosting Pittsburgh for two games at Lakeland.

St. Louis clinched the CSHL regular season championship last weekend and also secured a berth in the Tier III Junior A national tournament set for next month in suburban Boston.

Remaining games on ’09-10 schedule:
Feb. 27 @ St. Louis
Feb. 28 @ St. Louis
March 6 vs. Pittsburgh
March 7 vs. Pittsburgh


Of Lockwood’s three goals this season, two have come on the power play … Grech has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) over his last 10 games … Mercer has averaged almost 32 saves in his last five starts and also ranks third in the league in minutes played with 1708:50.


Former Metro forward Dominic Osman (2000-2001) started the season with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye and posted 12 goals and 22 points in 47 games before being traded recently to the Florida Everblades.

With Florida, the 28-year-old Dearborn native is averaging a point per game with three goals and three assists in a half-dozen games.

Photo by Andy Grossman

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