'98 Selects Skate to Championship Victory

The ’98 Selects have a lot to be proud of these days. The VJW squad traveled to Sacco, Maine this past weekend to compete in the 1st Annual New Year’s Kick-Off Invitational, a tournament hosted by the Portland Pirates organization.

Following four games played over three days, the team not only played well… the players earned themselves a championship trophy! The ’98 Selects knocked off Mill City by a score of 3-1 in the title game to claim the top prize at the event.

“It was the best that I have seen our kids play all year long,” said ’98 Selects head coach Jamie Whitmyer. “They worked hard to win in the finals and they did everything that we asked of them throughout the entire tournament.”

After earning a semifinal berth, the Warriors faced off against the host Portland Jr Pirates in the semifinals. In a lopsided affair, Whitmyer’s team cruised to a 10-1 victory. The final game pitted the Warriors against Mill City in a rematch of a round robin contest that saw Mill City win by a score of 3-2.

In the all-important championship game, the Warriors pulled together and outlasted its opponent in what was a back-and-forth affair. Cole Julius scored twice and Jacob Norton added one tally to pace the offense. Billy Fairweather was a good wingman as he assisted on two of his linemate’s goals.

“The kids are progressing and are starting to listen and come together,” noted Whitmyer. “This was our first away tournament of the season and it was a great bonding experience for everyone.”

The ’98 Selects have been battling in the Mass Select League this season and have skated to a 4-7-1 record. In what is a tight league, the Warriors have seen a lot of one-goal contests decide the team’s fate.

“It’s a very competitive league,” explained Whitmyer. “We need to get better as a team to progress and make the playoffs. We are starting to gel, which is a positive sign for the upcoming months.”

If the team’s recent performance in Maine is any indication of the times ahead… Whitmyer’s group has a lot to look forward to come the second half of the season.

The team has received outstanding performances from netminder Nicholas Howard.

The defensive tandem of Kylie Currier and Erin Daly continually play aggressive hockey, while the duos of Eric Michitson and Anthony Hartnett and Liam O’Neill and Shawn Giroux provide stability on the blueline. Assistant Coach Cory Drouin has been in charge of this group all season long.

In addition to the top trio of Julius, Norton and Fairweather, the offense is also led by two strong lines which include Colby Keller, Tommy McHugh, Paul Miller and Max Whitmyer, Sean Regan and Brandon Daniels.

To follow the '98 Selects throughout the rest of the season, check out the Mass Select League official web site at www.masshockey.com.
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