VJW Tournaments Make a Return to Haverhill in 2009
In just a few short months, a field of some of the best youth hockey teams will make their way to the Haverhill Valley Forum to take place in the 2009 Warrior National Showcase. Then three months later, the Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament will make a return for the second straight season. These annual events features AAA quality teams and have been regarded as two of the premier showcase events in the Northeast.
This year’s field is already proving to be one of the strongest to date with teams confirmed from Florida to Canada and everywhere in between. Here is a short list of just some of the programs confirmed: AtlanticSelects, Boston Jr Eagles, Casco Bay, Florida Everblades, Manchester Flames, Neponset River Valley, New Brunswick Selects, North Jersey Avalanche, Red Rangers, Valley Jr Warriors, Washington LittleCapitals, Wilkes-Barre and York Simcoe Express.
“We are thrilled with the early response to our tournaments,” said Fred Devereaux, the VJW director of player development. “The strength of each competing division will help each team better prepare for the rigors of the upcoming season and provide them with a fun few days of hockey in August.”
As tournament director, Devereaux works closely with participating programs and helps to evaluate talent to ensure that all teams are evenly matched. This year’s Warrior National Showcase will feature teams from the following divisions: 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999.
Three months later, the Valley Jr Warriors will host its largest tournament of the year – the Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament. Last year’s inaugural event was a huge success as it drew 47 teams from across the country. Featured divisions include the 1996s, 1997s, 1998s, 1999s, 2000s, 2001s and 2002s.
“We are close to capacity at several levels for the Thanksgiving event which is a testament to its success last season,” noted Devereaux, a scout for the Calgary Flames who will be traveling to Montreal next week to attend the 2009 NHL Draft. “Our staff works hard to accommodate the needs of each program and make the experience a positive one for the players, coaching staff and parents.”
To Devereaux’s point, both Valley Jr Warriors events are managed by a professional staff with decades of experience running youth and junior level tournaments. The Warriors annually open its doors to the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL) Eastern Showcases and Playoffs and Hockey Night in Boston and played host to the 2006 USA Hockey Nationals.
When running its own events, the Warriors provide each team with a tournament liaison and the tournament staff works closely with each participant to create a schedule that works best with its travel plans. In addition, daily game summaries and real-time scores are posted online throughout the tournament. “We do whatever we can to make it a high-quality and memorable event,” said Becky Blaeser, the VJW tournament administrator who has more than 10 years of event management experience including working at numerous NCAA Final and Frozen Fours. “Our goal is to bring programs back and improve our offerings with each passing year.”
Here is a list of some of the other tournament features and benefits:
Features “AAA” Competition Guaranteed 4 games / possibility of 6 games 15 minute periods Maximum of 10 teams per division Round Robin Format Semi Finals & Finals No Gate Fee... Free Admission for All! Team Fee: \$1150