CHICAGO – The Metro Jets and MJDP Team opened the USPHL Showcase on Thursday with wins over top league teams at the Leaf Centre.
The MJDP and goaltender Anthony Carlier posted a 4-0 shutout over the Chicago Cougars, while the Jets picked up a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Moose.
Carlier said the win over the Cougars, a perennial USPHL powerhouse, was a huge confidence booster for the MJDP.
“It felt good to be out there and just be able to make saves,” said Carlier. “It helps a lot when you are playing for a coaching staff with such confidence in all their players. Especially with how close all the guys are on the team, it’s a very enjoyable atmosphere on and off the ice and being able to put a zero on the board against a top team was definitely an accomplishment for not only myself but the team.
“Today was a total team effort. The boys did a really good job of limiting high-quality shots and keep Chicago to the outside, which allowed me to see the pucks. On the few good chances they had, I set myself up in a position to make the saves and I was lucky enough that today I was able to make the saves. I’m really proud of all the guys and we pulled this out as a team. We had a good effort from every guy on the ice today and it’s exciting to see our hard work in practice translate into our games. I’m looking forward to see what more we can accomplish.”
Trevor Granzow scored twice for the MJDP, while Matt Bleim and Colin Day added singles.
“Good solid effort all around by our guys,” Jets associate coach Jamie Lovell said. “Simply put, Chicago played well, but it came down to getting timely goals and timely saves. Anthony Carlier was really good again for us making the big saves when we needed them and we were able to bury the offensive chances we had.”
Jets captain Jeremy Schwartz, Connor Graham and Devlin Macaulay scored in the win over the Moose and Fredrik Meurling finished with 22 saves in goal.
“It was different playing a team that was matching our play, but it was fun,” Graham said. “We struggled at the start getting our legs going and getting into the game, but Freddy came up with some huge saves to keep us in the game. I thought we picked it up in the second and started playing the way we should play and finished with a win.”
“We came out well at the start of the game, but once Minnesota tied the game 1-1, I felt they outplayed us in every aspect and we were lucky to still be tied after the first half,” added Lovell. “Freddy did his job, and the players responded in the second half with a much better effort and managed to score a couple big goals. We just got better from there and never looked back.
“Overall, it was nice to see both teams get wins considering the quick turnaround some guys had traveling back from China. We have a tough weekend of games ahead for both teams, so our approach is to get as much rest as we can and focus on the next opponent tomorrow. Nothing further than that.”
On Friday, the MJDP Team plays the Dells Ducks at 1:30 p.m. Eastern, while the Jets play the Charlotte Rush at 11:10 a.m. Eastern.
All games will be streamed on www.HockeyTV.com.