Wednesday, November 30, 2011

North Stars' Schempp picks Ferris State

It’s about 85 miles from Centre ICE Arena to Ferris State University, but it seems a lot closer.

Kyle Schempp, a rookie center from Saginaw, became the latest Traverse City North Stars player to commit to FSU, making it eight in less than three years.

Schempp, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound Compuware product, was Traverse City’s first-round pick in the NAHL Draft in the spring and has more than justified the selection with six goals and six assists through 20 games, including a trio of power-play markers and a pair of game-winning tallies. He was a targeted by several collegiate programs and found a comfort zone at Ferris.

“I think it was the best fit,” he explained. “The style they play, the system they play within seemed like a good place for me. And academically, it was the right fit as well. The staff seems very supportive and the coaches and players can teach me how to play at that next level.”

Schempp played 40 games with Compuware during 2010-11, scoring 21 goals and assisting on nine others, but it was his all-around acumen that drew the attention of Stars head coach Chad Fournier and GM Anthony Palumbo.

“He’s very gifted offensively,” Fournier said. “Kyle has that knack for making things happen. He plays tough and physical and has really developed in his own end. He was a high-end midget player and he had been drafted in the USHL, so we took a bit of a chance in picking him, but fortunately for us he ended up here. He’s really a well-rounded player.”

Schempp, currently a senior at Traverse City Central High with a 3.75 GPA, has long eyed a career in athletic training - a degree he’ll pursue at Ferris. He says he’ll apply the lessons learned at the midget and junior levels on and off the collegiate ice.

“It’s about putting in the work, day-in and day-out,” Schempp surmised. “And if you’re not ready to work, there won’t be a place for you to play.”

By the time Schempp arrives at Ferris State, it’s possible that more than a quarter of the Bulldogs roster will consist of North Stars alums – Garrett Thompson, C.J. Motte, Travis White and Andy Huff are currently playing for FSU, while Zack Dorer and Seth Adams have also committed for future enrollments.

Kyle Bonis is a currently in his junior season at FSU.

“I haven’t played with those guys,” Schempp said. “But I got to meet a couple when I was down on a visit. It says something that so many guys (from TC) have gone on to play there and do well.”

Schempp cites a laundry list of people who have been influential in his playing career, including a support system at home.

“All the coaches and teammates I’ve had, the family and friends – they’ve all helped push me to get better and have helped me get this opportunity. Nobody makes it in hockey without them.”

Schempp and the North Stars welcome the top two teams in the NAHL North Division to Centre ICE this weekend, as first-place Port Huron visits on Friday and second-place Kalamazoo on Saturday. Schempp has been especially effective against the former, with eight of his twelve points coming against the Falcons this year, including a four-point outburst on Sept. 28.

“It’s an important weekend,” he added. “We want to win the division and move on in the playoffs to nationals. All that starts now.”

Photo/John Elftmann/NAHL

Friday, November 25, 2011

Jr. K-Wings acquire Flood from Chicago

The Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings have announced the trade of forward Matt Cessna to the Chicago Hitmen in exchange for forward Brandon Flood.

Flood comes to Kalamazoo after 23 games on the season with Chicago. The NAHL rookie from Mason was second on the Hitmen in scoring with 17 points (eight goals, nine assists). Flood also lead the Hitmen with 57 penalty minutes.

The Jr. K-Wings gave up the 18-year-old Cessna in the two-team deal. In 19 games on the campaign, Cessna tallied two goals and two assists.

Kalamazoo head coach Marc Fakler is excited with the new addition to the roster, as he is anticipating even more production from his offense.

“Brandon is a talented offensive player that has a track record for scoring goals,” said Fakler.

Flood is set to wear No. 26 for the Jr. K-Wings and Fakler plans to have him available by the start of this weekend's two-game set with the Port Huron Fighting Falcons.

'Jacks deal Henke to Storm for Chlapik

The Muskegon Lumberjacks announced they have acquired forward Adam Chlapik and a second-round pick in the 2013 USHL Entry Draft in a trade with the Tri-City Storm.

In exchange, the Jacks sent rookie winger Josh Henke to the Storm.

Chlapik (pronounced CLAP-ick), a 6-foot, 185-pound center from the Czech Republic, has 12 goals and 22 points in his 58-game USHL career to date. The 17-year-old is in his first year eligible for the NHL Draft and was ranked as the seventh-best USHL prospect (59th overall) in August by Red Line Report.

“We are excited to get Adam in our lineup,” said Lumberjacks head coach-GM Kevin Patrick. “He’s a very intelligent player with a great understanding of the game.”

Chlapik has played internationally for the Czech Republic, wearing his nation’s colors for the Under-17 team. He skated for HC Sparta Praha for two seasons in the Czech U18 league before hopping the Atlantic to skate for the L.A. Jr. Kings in 2009-10.

“Adam possesses good offensive instincts and the ability to make plays,” Patrick said. “He has a high hockey IQ.”

The lefthanded-shooting Chlapik joined the Omaha Lancers last season and put up 15 points (nine goals) in his first 43 USHL contests. He was teammates with Lumberjacks goalie John Keeney while in Omaha until being dealt to Tri-City on Oct. 14.

Chlapik is expected to join the team at some point this weekend as the Lumberjacks (7-7-0, 14 points) play two games on the road. Muskegon faces off with Green Bay at 8:05 p.m. Eastern time tonight and takes on Chicago at the same time Saturday.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Saginaw trades Hermenegildo to Oshawa

The Saginaw Spirit have traded overage defenseman Peter Hermenegildo to the Oshawa Generals in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.

Hermenegildo appeared in 15 games this season for the Spirit, scoring two goals and recording four assists.

Photo/Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Friday, November 18, 2011

TC's Adams commits to Ferris State

Family, friends and fans of Traverse City North Stars forward Seth Adams won’t have to travel far to see the rangy winger play his college hockey.

Adams, a Big Rapids native, signed on to play collegiately at Ferris State University, which is located mere minutes from Adams’ home.

“It’s definitely exciting,” said Adams, who played for Big Rapids High School last year. “I’ve always had a great relationship with (FSU coach) Bob Daniels, I played with his son growing up, and been around the Ferris program. It’s good to be headed somewhere that you’re comfortable and excited about when you get to that next level.”

Adams, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound forward with a deft scoring touch, was tendered early on by the North Stars staff, and wowed everyone during the summer camping season before a lower-body injury sidelined him for the rest of the summer and into the early season.

“Before he got hurt, he was head and shoulders above the field at a couple of those camps,” said Stars head coach Chad Fournier. “But Seth has worked his way back from that and is just starting to get some traction. With a kid as talented as Seth, we’re just starting to see the tip of the iceberg.”

Adams, a two-time All-State selection at Big Rapids, registered his first career junior goal back on Oct. 12 at Port Huron, and has earned a regular shift among a veteran-laden forward cast. He has appeared in 10 games so far, including the last six TC outings.

“He’s big, strong, and knows where to put the puck,” Fournier added. “He skates well and can move the puck, and he can score. I think Ferris was right on the money in getting Seth. They probably didn’t want to let a local kid with this much talent get away.”

Adams plans to study biology upon his enrollment at FSU – presently slated for the 2013-14 academic year – and has the scholastic chops for it: He boasts a 3.8 grade-point average and rocked a 25 on the ACT. A senior at Traverse City Central, Adams has his eye on a career as an orthopedic surgeon.

“I’m not necessarily looking to play hockey forever,” he explained. “But getting to play college hockey is a great honor; It’s something to really work toward.”

Adams says the pace of the North American Hockey League is a bit accelerated compared to high school hockey, but that he’s growing more accustomed to it every day.

“At this level, if you make a mistake, you’d better make it fast,” he said. “Junior hockey features a lot more strength and speed, not to mention the hockey skills. It’s a very good (brand of hockey).”

While his skates and sticks have carried Adams to the proverbial ‘next level’ of the game, he says that at least a few people helped him get this far.

“My old coach in Big Rapids, Tim Blashill, was a big influence on my hockey career,” Adams added. “And I’d have to thank my parents for always keeping me motivated. They taught me respect, getting along, and working hard at everything.”

Fournier says that Adams’ on- and off-ice makeup will translate to good things in both arenas.

“Seth is a great kid and a great teammate. He’s got the talent and the smarts. It’s not a stretch to say that he’ll be a success in whatever he does in life.”

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Petoskey's Kelley adjusting to Jets

Making the jump from high school hockey to Junior A hockey was an adjustment at first for Dillon Kelley.

He has since come into his own and is constantly pushing his goalie counterpart, Devin Williams, for playing time in the Metro Jets’ crease.

“The first few games and weeks were rough for me,” said Kelley, a 17-year-old Petoskey native. “I feel I was being too hard on myself, but once I lightened up, I got my game back and have improved every game. The hockey is a much faster pace and the players are much more creative and smarter.”

Kelley played last season for Petoskey High School and was scouted by Jets’ assistant coach Randy Wilson, who saw the potential for Kelley to play juniors.

“Randy wanted me to come to the Jets’ open camp and after I went to the camp, he said he would like me to come to main camp,” Kelley said. “That was when they offered me a spot. I really didn’t know much about the Jets or the NA3HL. All I knew was what Randy had told me and I didn’t really know what to expect. After being in the league and on the team for two months now, I am very happy to be on this team and in this league.”

So far this season, Kelley is 3-1-0 with a 4.25 goals-against average and a .883 save percentage. Williams has seen the bulk of playing time, but Kelley has played well when called upon.

“Devo is probably my closest friend on the team,” explained Kelley. “We hang out all the time and love to talk hockey and equipment. Within that friendship, we both want to push each other to get better and we both want to play. There is competition there, but it’s a good one.”

Kelley sat on the bench for one game earlier this season as a backup for the NAHL’s Port Huron Fighting Falcons. That experience opened Kelley’s eyes as to what it will take to make the lateral move to the NAHL.

“I plan to keep working hard day in and day out on and off the ice,” boasted Kelley. “I want to improve myself so I can help my team win whenever I am in the net. I hope to get better and better game in and game out and help our team get to where we want to be at the end of the regular season.

“My goals are to improve and get to the next level like everyone else, but my main goal is to help the Jets make it deep into playoffs and win a championship.”


The Toledo Cherokee jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and held on to top the Jets, 5-3, last Saturday night at Lakeland Arena.

Jake Schlacht, Chris Hellebuyck and Zach Mohr scored for the Jets.

In goal, Williams started and allowed all five Toledo goals in 28:21 of work, making 16 saves in the process.

Kelley replaced Williams and made 20 saves.

The Jets (10-7-0-0) are now idle until Wednesday, Nov. 23, when they play in Flint.

Metro's next home game is Sunday, Nov. 27, against Toledo at 11:50 a.m.

*** NOTE *** All Sunday home games are now at 11:50 a.m., instead of 1:20 p.m.


Defenseman Jordan Jones, who played 23 games for the Jets last season, returned to the team and made his 2011-12 debut against Toledo.

Jones, a 20-year-old Toledo native, tallied eight assists in 16 games with the Boston Jr. Blackhawks of the International Junior Hockey League this year.

Last season, Jones recorded four assists after he was acquired from Toledo on Nov. 23, 2010.

Justin Shureb, an 18-year-old forward from Livonia, also joined the Jets last Friday.

Shureb was drafted fourth overall by the Jets out of Livonia Stevenson High School last June. He was an honorable mention Division 1 All-State selection last year.

Shureb joins Mike MacKinnon, Hellebuyck, Tim Perks (injured, hasn’t played this year), John Baker, Chad Frost, Tim Wlodkowski and Steve Klisz as 2011 draft picks to make the Jets’ team this season.


Wylie Rogers, a goaltender on the 2002 Silver Cup national Junior B championship team, is playing this season for the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees of the Central Hockey League.

Rogers, who played for the U.S. National Team Development Program in 2002-03, also played four years of Division I college hockey for Alaska-Fairbanks of the CCHA from 2004-08.

The 26-year-old native of Fairbanks saw time last season for the Heerenveen Flyers pro team in the Netherlands.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Saginaw acquires Amestoy from Storm

The Saginaw Spirit announced today the team has completed a trade with the Guelph Storm, acquiring forward Carlos Amestoy for the Spirit's fifth round pick in the 2012 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection, a seventh round selection in 2013 and a fourth round pick in 2014.

Amestoy had been playing for the University of Maine Black Bears, a Division I program in the NCAA's Hockey East loop.

The Toronto native is a 1992 birth year, having appeared in 15 games over the past two seasons.

It is expected that Amestoy will join the Spirit during this weekend's three-game set in Eastern Ontario that begins tonight in Ottawa against the 67's.

Shier emerging as Jets' top blueliner

Will Shier is proof that you can go home again.

The Metro Jets’ defenseman started last season playing in the Northern Pacific Hockey League with the Wyoming-based Yellowstone Quake, but after a handful of games, decided he needed a bigger challenge and wanted a venue where he would be scouted.

Enter the Jets, the team that drafted Shier in the 2010 North American 3 Hockey League draft.

“I had heard that the Jets hired Jason Cirone (as head coach) and were now a part of the NA3HL,” said Shier. “I felt that I would have a better opportunity to make it to the next level if I returned home and played in the NA3HL.”

Once he returned to Michigan and signed with the Jets, things changed drastically.

“Last season had quite a few ups and downs for me personally,” said the 19-year-old Sterling Heights native. “As the season went on, my game really improved because Coach Cirone pushed me constantly. I was also in the gym every day working hard to get stronger. I earned a lot of playing time which helped my game out quite a bit. By the end of the season, I had gained a lot of experience and was really confident with my game. I believe playing for the Jets last year really contributed to the player I am now.”

Earlier this season, Shier earned a call-up to the Port Huron Fighting Falcons of the North American Hockey League. He had gone to Port Huron’s main training camp in August and narrowly missed making the team.

When he got the call in October, Shier took advantage of the opportunity to impress Port Huron head coach Bill Warren during the two games he dressed for the Fighting Falcons.

“When I got called up to Port Huron, I knew from my experiences at the Fighting Falcons’ main camp, that the speed would be quite different than that of the NA3HL, and it was,” explained Shier. “In the NAHL, you have less time to make decisions and it is a much faster game. I knew a few of their players received game misconducts the day before and I thought I was only getting the call up for one game, but was happy to find out after the first game, that I would be playing another one. I got to play alongside many great players, many of them whom I played with in the past. I spoke with Coach Warren before heading back to the Jets and he told me to be patient, my time would come.”

With the Jets, Shier has been playing 25-30 minutes a game, including the point on the power play. He has a goal and five assists for six points thus far this season.

“I wish I had three or four more Will Shiers on the team,” said Cirone. “He’s our go-to defenseman and is a leader back there for us, which is also why he’s one of our alternate captains. He’s played with several different defense partners and makes them all better players when they’re out there with him.”

Still, the NAHL is Shier’s goal, both short-term and long-term. He said being in Port Huron showed him what it takes to move up and play in the league.

”I worked really hard on my game during the offseason,” said Shier. “I went out east for ten days and skated with one of the coaches (Blair Joseph) from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. I received a lot of positive feedback from the NAHL coaches during tryouts this summer, but I just fell a bit short. Coach Cirone and (Metro GM) Butch Wolfe attended every tryout and gave me a lot of support. With the addition of full-time assistant coaches Dave Hague and Randy Wilson, I know we are going to have a great year and this is where I want to be. I wanted to come back and play for the Jets because I know Jason will help get me to the next level.

“I know, when given the chance, through hard work and dedication, I will be successful. I have already had a taste of the NAHL and can’t wait for more. Hopefully, the hard work will pay off and I will receive an offer to play college hockey for the 2013-14 school year as I work toward a degree in architecture.”

Looks like Shier is already building a solid future for himself.


Metro swept both games at home last weekend against Pittsburgh, winning 7-3 on Saturday night and then 4-2 on Sunday afternoon.

Saturday night, Shier (goal, two assists), Chris Hellebuyck (two goals, assist) and newcomer Zach Mohr (goal, two assists) had three-point nights and goaltender Dillon Kelley finished with 39 saves.

Steve Klisz, Matt Stirling and Matt Stemkoski also scored in the victory.

The Jets’ penalty kill shut down Pittsburgh’s power play as the Jr. Penguins went 0-for-6 with the advantage and 1-for-12 over the entire weekend.

In the series finale, Stemkoski and Mohr each had a goal and an assist, while Stirling and Doug Andrews tallied the others.

Klisz recorded two assists and Devin Williams made 32 saves in goal.

“Every single kid played well,” said Cirone. “I attribute that to last week in practice. It was probably our best week of practice since the second or third week of the season. Our kids really put it together last weekend and showed they have what it takes to win in this league.”

Metro (10-6-0-0) hosts Toledo this Saturday night for a 7:40 p.m. puck drop at Lakeland Arena in the lone game of the weekend.

“It all starts in practice and typically, how you practice is how you play during the weekend,” Cirone said. “I’d like to think we’ve turned a corner here and have turned our kids into believers.”


Mohr wasn’t the only new player in the lineup last weekend as forward Cameron Bazin made his return to the Jets in Sunday’s game.

“Bazin was one of my favorite players last year and is really a silent leader,” said Cirone. “Kids on our team can learn from him. His first shift on Sunday, he goes out and blocks a shot that prevented a scoring chance and then on his second shift, he throws a big hit. He’ll be an asset for us.”

Last year, the 19-year-old Troy native had three goals and 10 points in 36 games for the Jets.

Mohr, a 19-year-old from Novi, had a five-point weekend after coming over from Port Huron two weeks ago.

“I don’t expect Zach here the whole season,” said Cirone. “He’s very deserving to get another shot in the NAHL and I think once he works on some things that may be hindering his game he’ll be back up there.”

In another transaction approved Wednesday, the Jets traded Swedish defenseman Niels Olesen to Queen City. Olesen had one assist in 11 games this year.


Nick Kenney
, the Jets’ top scorer during the 2006-07 season with 31 goals and 35 assists for 66 points (35 on the power play), is starting his junior season at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, a Division III school in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association (NCHA).

After the Jets, the 23-year-old Wixom native skated two seasons with the NAHL’s Mahoning Valley Phantoms.

Photo/Andy Grossman/Detailed Images

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Ex-Jr. K-Wing McDonald picks Bulldogs

The Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings have announced the verbal commitment of former player Chad McDonald to Ferris State University.

McDonald played in 12 games with Kalamazoo this season, all the while leading the team in scoring. He tallied ten goals and five assists for 15 points, while playing to a plus-3 rating. His two short-handed goals still stand as the only two Kalamazoo has netted on the season.

McDonald’s most memorable performance with the Jr. K-Wings was his five-goal, six-point outburst against the Dawson Creek Rage during the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minn., back on Sept. 16. The five-goal outing included three power-play goals and a short-handed strike.

The Battle Creek native was traded from Kalamazoo to the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL on Oct. 27, a trade that saw the addition of forward Austin Hervey for the Jr. K-Wings. Since joining Des Moines in late October, McDonald has produced one goal and has played to a +4 rating.

“The goal of our program is to promote players to the next level," said Kalamazoo coach Marc Fakler. "Chad had a very strong start to the season, which earned him a tremendous opportunity to play college hockey at a strong program in Ferris State.”

Friday, November 04, 2011

North Stars' Leibinger picks MTU

Even after an ultra-successful rookie season in the North American Hockey League, Chris Leibinger wasn’t satisfied.

Among the youngest players in the league, the Traverse City North Stars defenseman acquitted himself with great aplomb in 2010-11, registering a pair of goals and four assists in 41 appearances with a +4 plus-minus rating. But it wasn’t enough.

“As a 16-year old, it was tough at times,” Leibinger admitted. “I had to get bigger and stronger to work more effectively in our own end. There were times when I’d be in the corner with bigger and older guys, and I wouldn’t always be able to come out with it (the puck).”

North Stars head coach Chad Fournier agreed.

“He was good, but he knew he needed to get stronger,” Fournier explained. “He made the decision to absolutely commit to getting even better over the summer, and we’re starting to see the rewards of that hard work.”

That labor consisted of a steady diet of weights and roadwork.

“I was in the weight room every day, sometimes twice a day,” Leibinger explained. “Kyle Schempp and I had the same trainer, did a lot of running, and probably put on 15-20 pounds. I can really feel a definite difference this year. When I go up against bigger guys, I can hold my own a lot more of the time.”

Leibinger and Fournier aren’t the only ones who have taken note of his ability, progress, and immense potential: Michigan Tech’s coaching staff extended an offer, and Leibinger accepted.

“It feel good to kind of have that part of the equation taken care of,” he said. “Now I can focus on just playing hard for the next year or two and work on improving.”

Leibinger, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound Saginaw product, has a goal and an assist through 12 games so far this season. It’s his all-around ability – and bolstered defensive zone presence – that Fournier says will help him succeed at the NCAA Division I level.

“He’s a real talent, no question,” Fournier added. “He skates well, moves the puck, and can join the play when the opportunity arises. He’s an all-around defenseman who is really starting to excel in the defensive zone.”

Leibinger, who sports a sterling 3.62 grade-point average, has designs on a degree in Kinesiology from Tech after a summer spent with an in-the-field professional.

“I went and visited the director of the program, and it seemed a good fit, in terms of what science classes I had and my grades,” he said. “Working out with our trainer I got to see some of it up close and thought it would be a great profession to be a part of.”

Leibinger is the first of the North Stars players to commit to an NCAA hockey program this season, but Traverse City’s reputation as a weigh station en route to the collegiate game is becoming renowned.

“The ultimate goal for junior programs at this level is to move kids along to college – even more than winning games,” Fournier explained. “When (GM) Anthony (Palumbo) looks at players, he’s trying to bring in guys that can play at that next level, and we’ve always been willing to have a younger team if that means moving kids on to college. And our alumni deserve some credit, too. Guys have gone on to have great success at the next level, and college coaches know Traverse City is a place to find talent.”

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Stirling brings veteran leadership to Jets

As one of the few returning players to the Metro Jets this season, Matt Stirling is being counted on for leadership and offense as the Jets hope to play in the North American 3 Hockey League playoffs for the first time in five years.

Leadership hasn’t been an issue as Sterling is an alternate captain for the second straight season. The offense, though, has sputtered, but has recently come alive for the 19-year-old Dexter native.

“The first two months of the season have been interesting and not what I was expecting,” Stirling said. “It has been a slow start for me this season and has been frustrating so far. With that said, I feel that my play has picked up recently over the past couple weeks and that with the better play, I should hopefully have better results soon.”

Going into this weekend, Stirling has just two goals through 14 games. Last year, he posted 24 goals and played in the NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament last February in Ann Arbor.

“Last season, I learned that you have to bring your game every night and that the consistency of your play is vital to success,” remarked Stirling. “The more consistent you are, the better chance you have of moving up or playing well. I also learned that it is a long season full of ups and downs in which you have to be prepared for anything.”

Looking back on last year, Stirling said the feel around the locker room is much different, and in a good way, as compared to the 2010-11 season.

”I think there is a different mindset to this year’s team because of the amount of returning players to the Jets and the leadership the returners bring to the team,” said Stirling. “The returners know what to expect this year on and off the ice, where last year we were all learning a new system and that took time for players to develop.”

Stirling went to summer camps with the North American Hockey League’s Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings and Traverse City North Stars, but felt another year of seasoning in Waterford would help improve his game to move up next year. Getting a few more wins on the board could help slow starters like Stirling pick up their game, and if a catalyst like Stirling can get off the schneid, that can only be a positive for the Jets.

“The team has slid a little bit from our hot start in our last couple games, but I feel that we have some good hockey players and as a team, we are playing very well so far,” Stirling said “I think that if I can get my game going and keep improving my game, it can only help the team in the long run.”


Metro traveled to Cleveland last weekend and suffered a two-game sweep at the hands of the East Division-leading Jr. Lumberjacks.

Saturday night, Steve Klisz and Mike MacKinnon scored late in the third period, but it wasn’t enough as Cleveland held on for a 3-2 win.

Devin Williams was outstanding in goal with a 48-save performance against the NA3HL’s highest-scoring team.

Then Sunday afternoon, Cleveland blanked the Jets, 5-0. Williams started and made 24 saves on 29 shots through 35:04. Dillon Kelley played the rest of the game and stopped all 18 shots he faced.

This weekend, the Jets (8-6-0-0) come home to Lakeland Arena to battle the Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins. Game time Saturday night is 7:50 p.m. with a 1:20 p.m. matinee scheduled for Sunday.

Pittsburgh sits in fourth place in the East, just three points behind third-place Metro.


Forward Zach Mohr, a 19-year-old Novi native, joined the Jets in a trade from the NAHL’s Port Huron Fighting Falcons late last week and is expected in the lineup this weekend against Pittsburgh.

Mohr totaled two goals and two assists in 14 games with Port Huron this year.


Tommy Burns, who played for the Jets last year, is averaging better than a point per game with Lindenwood University’s ACHA Division II team this season.

Burns, a 21-year-old forward from Pinckney, has eight goals and 13 points in 11 games for the Lindenwood, a school based in St. Charles, Mo.

Last season, Burns posted 16 goals and 33 points in 43 games in 2010-11, good for fourth in team scoring.

Photo/Andy Grossman/Detailed Images

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Whalers obtain Payne from Generals

The Plymouth Whalers have announced the acquisition of 17-year-old center Cody Payne from the Oshawa Generals in exchange for a third round selection in the 2012 Ontario Hockey Priority Selection.

“Cody is a big, strong forward,” Plymouth coach-GM Mike Vellucci said. “He skates very well and has good hands. We feel he will adapt well here to ‘Whaler Hockey.’”

Payne – from Weston, Fla. – was originally selected by Oshawa in the third round (58th overall) in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection. Last season, Payne scored a goal with 12 assists for 13 points and was +7 in 50 games for the Generals. This year, Payne scored twice in 10 games for Oshawa.

Payne played for the United States in the 2011 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament. He comes to Plymouth already knowing some of his new teammates.

“I’ve played with Tom Wilson in Toronto before coming to the Generals,” Payne said. “We worked out together in the summer. And I went to the same school as Matt Mistele in Whitby, Ont. I’m very excited to be coming to Plymouth.”

Payne is expected to report to Plymouth this week and will be in the lineup this weekend when the Whalers host Barrie on Friday and Windsor on Saturday at Compuware Arena. Both games start at 7:05 p.m.

Plymouth completes a busy weekend on Sunday in Saginaw.

Photo/OHL Images