JAMESTOWN – The Northwest Arena will be rocking on Thursday as the Southern Tier Xpress welcome the Metro Jets in the first round of the playoffs.
The Xpress worked diligently to earn a postseason berth by overcoming a nine point deficit through the final 12 games of the season.
Head Coach Lou Santini said his team’s attention has shifted from making the playoffs to the Metro Jets who basically dominated his team this year.
“They (Metro) have a heavy roster, close to 28-30 players that are available,” said Santini. “I’ve instituted that with our guys here, so they will know what they have to do.”
Xpress hockey games are becoming a popular draw in the city and rightfully so. The team is playing their best hockey of the year at this point.
“We are possessing the puck more in the zone, said Santini. “I think the groups have come together, the defense has really come together. I think we are playing more as a team, and that’s been a big factor in our success.”
Junior series hockey involves lots of skating and lots of puck movement, which translates to lots of entertainment for both casual fans and die-hard fans alike.
“It’s one of those things where if you’re watching the game you have to keep your eye on where the puck is,” Santini said. We’re not a dull team, we try to play like the higher levels want the guys to play.”
“Hockey is a sport unrivaled when you come into the arena,” said Santini when asked about the overall fan experience at the arena.
There will be a silent auction of game worn jerseys that will take place in the arena with the proceeds going to support the team.
During the pregame ceremony, community first responders will take center stage. The team said in a Facebook post, that they want to “show gratitude and respect for our local first for everything they do for our community.”
The puck drops Thursday at 7 p.m.
Tickets prices and other information about the team is post regularly on the club’s Facebook page.
Games two and three will be played in Frasier, Michigan. You view those games by clicking this link.