For the second year in a row, the Metro Jets will represent Team USA and venture overseas to participate in the Junior World Cup Tournament involving some of the world’s top national junior teams.
Last October, the Jets, representing the United States, won a bronze medal at the Junior World Cup Tournament in Beijing, China, and today, will head to China to play in the same event. This time, the event will be hosted in the beautiful CenturyStar Arena in the Changping District, which will also serve as host arena for the 2022 Olympic Games.
Jets coach-GM Justin Quenneville sees the tournament as a win-win, both on and off the ice for his team that will be made up of players from the entire Jets organization.
“We are excited to be invited once again to this prestigious international tournament,” Quenneville said. “To represent the USA was an honor for our organization last year and we couldn’t have been happier to walk away with a bronze medal. The competition was strong with some of the other country’s national junior programs competing, and we know it will be a difficult tournament again this year. We look forward to the experience and for many of our players, a once-in-a-lifetime one.”
For the players, going to China is an amazing time. Just ask Jets forward Anthony Cinato.
“What stood out the most to me was the level of hockey over there, and of course, being across the world and seeing the sights,” Cinato said. “Our main goal is to bring back gold and experiences that will last a lifetime.”
At the event a year ago, the Jets defeated Germany 8-0 to open the tournament, then downed Finland 5-2 before losing to Russia 2-1 and Belarus 3-1 and wrapping up with a 3-2 win over Latvia. The Belarus U18 National Team was crowned with the gold medal and will be returning to defend.
“We know we are lucky our program was selected again, and we will do our best to represent the USA again,” said Quenneville. “With that said, we are playing against some national programs and our guys are still getting used to each other early in the season. So we will take it one game at a time.”
Away from the rink, the team will visit some of the country’s breathtaking sites, such as the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, and the city of Beijing itself.
Once back home, the Jets will host the USPHL Detroit Showcase from Oct. 11-13 at their home rink, Fraser Hockeyland.