Chad Bazin didn’t play for the Metro Jets when he was drafted by the team back in 2005, but his younger brother, Cameron, is making the most of his opportunity with the Jets this year.
Undrafted, Cameron Bazin played the last two years for Troy Athens High School, winning the Oakland Activities Association White Division both years, and, upon graduating last June, figured that was it for his hockey career as he had no plans to play hockey this season.
“To start the year, I wasn't playing anywhere, but I quickly realized a year without hockey is something I can not and will not accept,” said the 18-year-old Bazin. “I started making some calls around to find a team and (Metro head) coach (Jason) Cirone said he had an available spot and to come out for a skate to see how I liked it. A couple days later, I was at a practice and it just felt like a good fit, so I signed.”
Fitting in with his new teammates was an adjustment at first, as was what was expected of him on the ice.
“In high school, I was a top player, so I was doing a lot,” said Bazin. “Now in juniors, you have your players each having a role and that was something for me to adjust to. I feel like I can help the team get the momentum back on our side with a big hit or nice play. I also like to get into the other team’s heads. A lot of guys will talk trash to you and I'll listen to them, but not say anything in return - just smile and laugh. As long as I'm doing that, my role would be perfect to me.”
Bazin said that he knew about Metro’s recent history of sub-par seasons, but that didn’t deter him from making the commitment to the team.
“I didn't care about past seasons and all that and to me, every year is a fresh start,” explained Bazin. “Any team can come into a season and be the top dog. I thought that we had a shot of being a top team in this league and despite our current record, I feel we will surprise a lot of teams once playoffs start.”
To date, Bazin has three goals (two on the power play) and five points through 20 games and is keeping a positive frame of mind during the Jets’ latest slump.
“I know we are not where we should be in the standings,” Bazin said. “We have had a lot of ups and downs, but that’s hockey. Riding your ups and staying up is what the good teams do and we will be doing that in our last 16 games of the regular season.
“I expect us as a team to all come together and start a streak. I expect us to get into the playoffs. If not, it will be really disappointing. I feel when we play our game we can compete with anyone in the league. Once in the playoffs, I expect us to make a run for the championship.”
Individually, Bazin’s goals are just as lofty.
“Next year, I'd like to be in the NAHL and stay there for a year or two,” said Bazin. “For long-term goals, I would like to play college hockey, preferably Division I, but I would settle for anything as long as I get there.”
LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD
The Jets hit the road to kick off 2011 and were greeted with two lopsided losses to the Pittsburgh Jr. Penguins last weekend.
Pittsburgh topped the Jets on Saturday night, 12-3, and then 13-6 on Sunday afternoon.
In the first game, Tommy Burns (Pinckney, Mich.) scored twice, Brett Grech (Hartland, Mich. ) had a goal and an assist and Matt Stirling (Dexter, Mich.) added two assists.
Eric Trunick (Commerce Township, Mich.) and Matt Braun (Ramsey, N.J.) combined for 26 saves in goal.
Sunday afternoon, Grech and Tommy Kilgore (Pinckney, Mich.) each potted two goals, while Mike Moroso (Macomb, Mich.) and Stirling scored the others.
Trunick played the entire game in net and finished with 44 saves.
“The results of the games last weekend are embarrassing and I don’t care to reflect on it,” Jets captain Morgan James said. “Some guys played hard, some guys gave up, but I’m not going to get into names.”
Jayson Angus led the offensive attack for Pittsburgh , scoring 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in the two wins to leap atop the NA3HL scoring race with 55 points on the season.
The Jets (9-19-1-0) will now play two games with the Battle Creek Jr. Revolution at Lakeland Arena this weekend. Saturday night’s game will be a “home” game for Battle Creek and will start at 7:40 p.m. Game time Sunday afternoon for the rematch is 1:20 p.m.
Stirling has four goals and six points in his last four games … New defenseman Kevin Lander (Brighton, Mich.) made his debut last weekend in Pittsburgh … Moroso is tied for the NA3HL lead with four shorthanded goals (Mason Riley/Peoria, Jayson Angus/Pittsburgh). With 14 goals total, the other 10 have all come at even strength … Trunick is third in the league with 649 saves this season.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Jack McCoy played with the Jets during the team’s early years and has worked his way up to be a linesman at the American Hockey League level.
McCoy, a Livonia, Mich., native who played college hockey at Oswego State in the SUNYAC, has also worked as an on-ice official in the Ontario Hockey League, ECHL, International Hockey League and United Hockey League.