VJW U 16s Capture 2008 Massachusetts State Title
“How you respond to the challenge in the second half will determine what you become after the game, whether you are a winner or a loser.”

Lou Holtz once made that comment… and there is no question that he would have been proud of the VJW U 16 squad for saving their best for when it counted most and earning the title of true winners!

Last weekend, with the pressure of advancing to USA Nationals staring them in the face, Mike Holubowich’s team came through with a dramatic overtime win in the Massachusetts State Tier 1 Championship contest. As a result of the win, the Warriors earned the right to compete at the USA Hockey Tier 1 & II National Tournaments in April 2009 in Chesterfield, MO.

The road to the championship title began with a 2-2 tie against the Greater Boston Jr Bruins. After jumping ahead 1-0 in the first period thanks to a tally by Conor Helfrich, the Warriors saw their lead disappear as they allowed two unanswered goals in the second period. Colin Blackwell came through at the 9:09 mark of the third period to even the contest at two and salvage the tie.

Next up for the Warriors in the round-robin format was the 495 Stars. A three-goal first-period outburst set the pace as the Warriors cruised to a 6-3 victory. Matthew Baldino scored twice, while Ryan Callahan and Dylan Pike added two points each.

On Saturday evening, the Warriors took on the Eastern Mass Senators. Despite a hat trick by Blackwell, the Senators held on for the 4-3 win.

A chance at redemption came quickly for the VJW squad as the two programs met up once again in the championship title game. This time around, the Warriors did not let the Senators jump out too far ahead. After an early Senators goal, the Warriors kept pace and eventually tied the game at the 16:56 mark of the third period. It was Ryan Callahan who came through with the goal off of assists from Conor Macphee and Matt Baldino. Both teams could not score that deciding goal in regulation.

In the overtime period, it was Callahan who once again played the role of hero as he delivered the game-winning goal at the 11:35 mark of the first overtime period.

Congratulations go out to the entire U 16 team on a job well done. Good luck at Nationals!!
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