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VJW U 16 II Team Skates to State Championship Win
After losing in the league semifinals, it is tough for a team to rebound and gather itself for the next challenge. That was not the case with this year’s Valley Jr Warriors U 16 II team.

The Warriors lost in the Massachusetts Tier II Midget Development League semifinals to South Boston in overtime. Despite the frustration and disappointment, Head Coach Ed Mathews found a way to pull his team together and the result was nothing short of magical. The Warriors squad went on to win four games en route to capturing the 2008 Massachusetts State Championship title and a chance to compete at the USA Hockey Tier 1 & II National Tournaments in April 2009.

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“After losing to South Boston in the league playoffs and going down to Quincy early in the states the boys really picked up their game,” said Mathews. “They stepped up as a team to play the best hockey they have played all year. As a coach I could not have asked anymore then what these boys have given me on and off the ice. They are a great group of hard working young men that leave everything on the ice for their team.”

Heading into state championship weekend, the VJW U 16 II squad was basking in a successful regular season where it posted an impressive 12-1 record. One of the only disappointments of the season was the tough loss to South Boston – a 5-4 finish – in the league semifinals. That loss, although frustrating at the time, set the stage for great things to come.

In the all-important state championship battle, the Warriors took on tough challenges in the form of the Senators, Quincy, South Boston and the South Shore Seahawks.

Mathews’ squad started off strong with a come-from-behind victory over Quincy. In that contest, the Warriors – despite a tally by Billy Boudreau (he was assisted by Colin Edwards and Greg Tremblay) – found themselves trailing 2-1 after two periods. The third stanza was all about the Warriors, however, as the team exploded for four goals. Tremblay began the scoring barrage off assists by Edwards and Jonathan Ahern. One minute later, Zander Buttress gave the Warriors their first lead of the game to make it 3-2. He was assisted by Owen LaValley and David Evans. Edwards (from Cam Roy and Boudreau) and Tim Wurman capped off the scoring run to ice Quincy by a score of 5-2.

“The boys started off real slow,” said Mathews. “Once they finally settled down and played their game they really took it to Quincy.”

The Warriors next suffered a 2-1 loss against the Senators. After falling behind 2-0 in the third period, Boudreau cut the lead to one with just under three minutes to go but that was as close as the team would come.

“I thought the boys played well,” noted Mathews. “I thought that we out played the Senators, but we just could not put the puck away.”

Finishing was not a problem in the next game as the Warriors skated to a 4-3 win over South Boston to earn a spot in the semifinals. For the third straight game, however, Mathews’ team found themselves facing an early deficit. This time around, it was a three-goal outburst in a 2:27 span in the second period propelled the team to victory. Boudreau, Wurman and Jonathan Pate (2) led the way offensively for the Warriors.

The Warriors continued its offensive momentum as it defeated South Boston for the second time in the tournament, this time by a score of 3-0. Roy, Atienza and Gaven LaValley all scored for the Warriors.

The Warriors then had to face South Boston again in the semifinals the next morning. Roy, Atienza and LaValley all scored in that 3-0 win.

“This was by far the best game we played all year,” said Mathews. “The boys won every loose puck and played the body from start to finish.”

In the much-anticipated state championship game – with a trip to Nationals on the line – both finalists came ready to play when the Warriors faced off against the South Shore Seahawks.

After a scoreless first period, the Warriors took its first lead thanks to Wurman off assists by Bingaman and Pate. The Seahawks evened the score midway through the second period, but the Warriors struck again to make it 2-1 off a Jake Kulevich goal. The Warriors hung on to salvage the 2-1 lead and capture the state championship.

The Warriors had a balanced attack all year up front with the lines of Wurman, Pate and Bingaman, Edwards, Tremblay and Roy, Evans, LaValley and Tyler Smith, Jarrod Hines and Eric Costa.

On defense, the Warriors were led by Boudreau, Ahern, Atienza, Buttress, Kulevich, Alex King and JC Winslow. The team was backstopped all year long by Craig Cataldo and Michael Mathews.

The Warriors U 16 II team is coached by Mathews, who is assisted by Greg Tremblay, Bob Wesley and Mike Holubowich.

This year’s USA Hockey Tier 1 & II National Tournaments will be held in Chesterfield, MO.

Congratulations to the entire team and good luck at Nationals!!
INDEX
VJW U 16s Capture 2008 Massachusetts State Title
Valley Jr Warriors U-16s Capture Labor Day Title
Three VJW Teams Bask in NEHL Championship Victories
VJW '96 Selects Skate to Victory at Summer Cool-Off Tournament
Three VJW Teams Bask in NEHL Championship Victories
Valley Jr Warriors '99 Elites Capture WNS Title
Valley Jr Warriors '99 Selects Shine at WNS
King of What? - By Mike Lynch
Triumph and Courage - By Mike Lynch
Like Father Like Daughter; Alex Carpenter Is Carving Out Her Own Legacy
The Year to Remember Continues for Former VJW Player Chris Kreider
Valley Jr Warriors '96 Elites Shine at WNS
Keeping #5 Alive - By Mike Lynch
Tournament Action Returns to Haverhill in 2010
Magical Season Comes to an End for VJW '97 Elites at USA Hockey Nationals
A Class Act - By Mike Lynch
Nov 16, 08
VJW U 16 II Team Skates to State Championship Win
VJW '97 Elites Loss Sets Stage for Third Day Showdown at Nationals
VJW '97 Elites Post 3-2 Win Over Columbus at USA Hockey Nationals
VJW '97 Elites Arrive in New York; Prepare to Take On Nation's Best
Former VJW Junior A Player Colin Mulvey Captures NCAA National Title
VJW '97 Elites Prepare for USA Hockey Nationals
Chris Kreider - Former VJW Standout - Leads BC to NCAA Tournament
Nothing is Impossible - By Mike Lynch
Valley Jr Warriors Excel at Labor Day Face-Off Invitational
Former VJW Junior A Star Cucci Shines in Hockey East Battle
Valley Jr Warriors '97 Elites Capture WNS Title
VJW Mite Selects Bask in NEHL Championship Glory
VJW '97 Elites Punch Ticket to USA Hockey Nationals in April
VJW '99 Selects Celebrate Mass State Select League Championship
VJW '98 Elites Capture New England Hockey League Title
Former VJW Junior A Standout Nets Year-End League Honors
Non Sibi - By Mike Lynch
What Can You Do For Brown? - By Mike Lynch
VJW Squirt Major Selects Make a Difference Both On and Off the Ice
VJW Squirt Major Selects Take Time to Help Others In Need
Valley Jr Warriors Coach Bob Sweeney Joins Beanpot Hall
Tewksbury Tough - By Mike Lynch
VJW Teams Battle For Titles at the 2010 JWK Holiday Tournament
VJW '98 Elites Jonathan Folsom Featured in Local Newspaper
Standing Tall - By Mike Lynch
VJW '98 Selects Capture Boston Jr Terriers Tournament Title
Taking the Pledge in 2010 - By Mike Lynch
Valley Jr Warriors '98 Elites Take On Bell Capital Cup Challenge
Former VJW Standout Chris Kreider & Team USA Are World Champions
Former VJW Star Kreider Named to the 2010 U.S. National Junior Team
VJW '97 Elites Take Their Game to Canada
Holiday Shopping List - By Mike Lynch
Haverhill Valley Forum Enjoys Its Fourth Year of Operation In Style
Eastern Junior Hockey League Featured in Recent USA Hockey Magazine
Walking Tall - By Mike Lynch
Former VJW Players Shine On Collegiate Scene
Call to Glory - By Mike Lynch
14th Annual Warrior Classic Comes to a Close
VJW Teams Battle at Mass State Championship Playdowns
Riki Retelle Earns EJHL Defensive Player of the Week Honors
VJW Teams Set For Mass Hockey Tier I & Tier II State Championship Playdowns
Valley Jr Warriors Junior As Enjoy Weekend Sweep Over CD Selects
Welcome Home - 4 VJW Teams Return After Strong Showing in Chicago
Courage - By Mike Lynch
VJW Teams Poised to Face the Best of the Best
VJW Junior A Team Making Big Strides
VJW U-16 IIs Continue Winning and Championship Ways
The Golden Tornado - By Mike Lynch
VJW '95 Elites - Picking Up Where They Left Off
Steve MacAdams Brings Experience & Success to VJW
USA Hockey Announces H1N1 Recommendations
No Early Season Jitters for the VJW '98 Elites
Great Expectations - From Mike Lynch
VJW Mite Minors Off to a Fast (and Fun!) Start
VJW '99 Selects Make a Difference On and Off the Ice
VJW U-16 Midget Standout Brian Ward Heads to Dartmouth College
VJW Teams Post Impressive 5-1 Record Against Team Comcast
VJW '96 Selects Skate to Victory at Summer Cool-Off Tournament
Tom Terrific - Mike Lynch Reflects on Tom Brady
Valley Jr Warriors '98 Elites Capture WNS Title
VJW - Junior A Season Preview
A Happy New Year From Mike Lynch
VJW's JJ Layton Heads to Little League World Series
VJW Players Shine at 2009 USA Hockey Player Development Camp
Chris Kreider Selected No. 19 in 2009 NHL Entry Draft
VJW Tournaments Make a Return to Haverhill in 2009
VJW Junior A Team Welcomes Two Key Players for 2009-10 Season