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VJW U-16 IIs Continue Winning and Championship Ways
vjw_u16_columbusday09.jpgNearly one year after capping off a season to remember, the Valley Jr Warriors U-16 II team is back to winning games and capturing titles.

This past weekend, the Warriors posted a 4-1 record en route to winning the 2009 Columbus Day Classic Tournament held at the New England Sports Center.

The team sealed the championship with a 2-0 blanking of Perinton SIR on Monday. In what was an exciting three days of competition, the Warriors not only found a way to knock off top talent from across the country but the players also avenged an early-season loss against a formidable foe. All in all… it was yet another impressive performance by a group of players who have learned how to win on all stages.

“They are playing their best hockey of the year right now,” said Ed Mathews, who is enjoying his eighth season with the Valley Jr Warriors. “The boys played their hearts out all weekend, and I could not be more proud of them.”

photo_collage_U16.jpgIn addition to the challenge of taking the ice against some of the top teams in the nation, the Warriors are also faced with the fact that they have a clear target on their back. After all, it was just one year ago that Mathews and his coaching staff led the team to a 2008 Massachusetts State Championship title and the USA Hockey Tier II National Tournament. Thus far the team is responding as well as anyone could expect as it has posted an 18-2 record and is a perfect 8-0 in the Massachusetts Tier II Midget Development League.

This past weekend was much of the same as the team came through with a 3-1 record en route to its championship victory.

Leading the charge offensively in the team's opening 7-2 win over Pro Ambitions was Cam Roy who netted three goals and one assist. Also scoring for the Warriors were Andrew Pierce (1-1-2), Michael Cusack (1-0-1), Adam Tanner (1-1-2) and David Evans (1-0). Dylan Costa added two assists, while Craig Cataldo and Michael Mathews shared duties in net to share the victory.

Next up for the Warriors was an important rematch with the Dallas Ice Jets. Just days earlier, Mathews’ squad suffered one of its toughest losses of the years to the Ice Jets on their home ice in Haverhill. The players – in what was one of the most exciting and tightly-contested games of the tournament – made sure that they would not be defeated two times as they pulled out an important 2-1 win.

“The game I was most impressed with was the Dallas game,” said Mathews. “We had just played them Thursday night and they beat us 10-3. We played our worst hockey of the year in the game from start to finish. We came back to play them Saturday night we had a short bench and the kids went out and played their best hockey of the year. They out worked and out hustled Dallas in every aspect of the game. It was the total opposite of the Thursday night game.”

Following a scoreless first period, Andrew Pierce gave his team a 1-0 lead when he netted an assisted tally. Michael Gianelli followed suit just one minute later to give the Warriors a 2-0 advantage. With time running out, the Ice Jets came within one goal but a tenacious defense and strong netminding by Michael Mathews shut down Dallas squad through the final three minutes of regulation.                                         

There was no letdown for the Warriors the following day as they cruised to a 7-1 win against the Orlando Jr Knights. Derek Palm put the Warriors on the scoreboard early in the first period, but the Jr Knights countered early in the second period to even the contest at 1-1. The Warriors would explode for five unanswered goals in the second period thanks to tallies by Dylan Costa (1-1-2), Christopher Lepore (2-0-2), David Evans (1-0-1) and Derek Palm (2-0-2. Craig Cataldo allowed just one goal to claim the victory in net.

In the morning semifinal contest, the Warriors took on a strong Minuteman Flames team. Cam Roy jumpstarted the offense by netting his fifth goal of the tournament in the first period. Michael Cusack and Christopher Lepore found the back of the net in the second period to extend the Warriors’ lead to 3-0. Andrew Pierce capped off the scoring in the third period en route to the 4-1 victory. For the second time in the tournament, Craig Cataldo and Michael Mathews were a formidable tandem in net.

When the championship showdown arrived, the Warriors were ready for the challenge as the team blanked the Perinton SIR team team by a score of 2-0. It was perhaps one of the most nail-biting games of the weekend as the two teams remained scoreless unless the final minutes of regulation. With just over a minute remaining, Christopher Lepore ripped a shot from the slot to put his team in front. Although Perinton SIR pulled their goalie with time running out, Craig Cataldo was a rock in net and Jonathan Pate iced the game with an empty netter.

Congratulations goes out to the entire Valley Jr Warriors U-16 II team on a job well done.

Forwards: Christopher Lepore, Andrew Pierce, Jonathan Pate, Michael Gianelli, Derek Palm, David Evans, Michael Cusack, Cam Roy, Dylan Costa and Tyler Smith (who was unable to compete in the tournament due to a knee injury)

Defense: Zander Buttress, Jake Kulevich, Alex King, Daniel O’Connor, Adam Tanner, Nick Owen, Ernest Guerrera and Jarrod Hines (who also played forward in the tournament)

Goalies: Craig Cataldo and Michael Mathews


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
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
Oct 13, 09
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