By Lexi Obrycki / USPHLPremier.com
Seed: Great Lakes #2
Seeding Round Schedule
All games at Utica University Nexus Center, Utica, N.Y.
Day 1: Thursday, March 23, vs. Las Vegas Thunderbirds, 4 p.m. EST
Day 2: Friday, March 24, vs. New York Aviators, 11 a.m. EST
The Metro Jets are gearing up for their upcoming trip to Nationals in Utica, New York. The team has qualified for the Nationals every season of their existence for a total of five. With a championship win in 2018 in their previous league, they know what it takes to succeed on the national stage.
The Jets defeated Columbus in the playoffs to continue to Nationals in a two-game series.
“Overall, it was a good series and test for us. We have a very good core group that extends beyond our veterans that made that series a true team effort,” said Head Coach/GM Justin Quenneville. “Columbus always plays a hard 60-minute game and will keep you honest. Our players and staff did a great job preparing for that series and it paid off.”
Quenneville believes that the team’s success is a result of their unique process of developing and advancing players.
“We have been fortunate to have success for many years and we credit that to our process. We are unique in that our model is to develop and advance players. We don’t have roster additions throughout the season and stay loyal to our guys,” Quenneville added. “It’s paid off for us for years and likely a reason why we have had the opportunity to play in the last game a few times.”
The Jets made the National Final in the USPHL Premier in both 2019 and 2022, but came up just short of the ultimate prize both years.
Quenneville acknowledges that getting to the finals is a mental challenge and a physical grind, but he believes that the team’s process and platform have prepared them for this type of format. The team is not just looking to do well – they are there to win.
“Our expectations are no different than anyone else. You are at Nationals to win. Nobody enters this time of year hoping to do well. We are fortunate to have several players who have gone all the way at Nationals and they know firsthand how difficult it is to be there the last day,” he added.
As they prepare for the nationals, the Metro Jets will be focusing on getting back to full health and working on the details of their game. They know that the competition will be tough, but they are ready to take on the challenge.