VJW '97 Elites Loss Sets Stage for Third Day Showdown at Nationals

Although the final score did not tell the whole story, the Valley Jr Warriors ’97 Elites suffered a 7-3 loss to the country’s top team – Compuware – on Thursday afternoon at USA Hockey Nationals which are being held this week in Williamsville, New York. In what was a back-and-forth contest, the Warriors found themselves deadlocked with the Detroit powerhouse through two periods.

With less than eight minutes left in regulation, however, Compuware exploded for four unanswered goals – including two in a span of 14 seconds – to claim victory and improve to 2-0.

 VJW '97 Elites Quick Links

 “It was a good game where we were tied at three and then they scored a couple of quick ones,” said Steve MacAdams, the VJW assistant coach. “We went down 2-0 and came back to tie it up at 2-2 through two periods. We had the momentum coming out but then we got a couple of penalties. It was an up and down game.”

Adding to the game’s excitement was a goal that was called back in that deciding third period. With Compuware leading by a score of 4-3, the Warriors netted a tying goal only to have it called back. At that point, the momentum was lost and the country’s top team finished off one of the most-anticipated games of the tournament.

“The kids were down (after the game),” said MacAdams. “I told them that we played well and to pick their heads up. Now we just have to win tomorrow and we’ll be all set.”

Facing the Warriors on Friday will be the Connecticut Clippers, winners of their Thursday contest by a 6-1 margin over the Alaska All Stars. On Wednesday, the Clippers were defeated by the Westchester Express which means that both teams will need that critical second win in order to advance to the quarterfinals on Saturday.

“It will be a good game,” said MacAdams of the showdown with the Clippers. “We played them earlier in the year and beat them 6-1. Our goalies played well so  it was closer than the score indicated. They have a few really good forwards, but if we play the way we are capable of… we should be OK.”

Prior to that game – scheduled to begin at 2:15 p.m. – the entire Warriors team will return to the rink to cheer on their teammates. Casey Fitzgerald and Ryan LaCroix will compete in the USA Hockey Nationals Skills Competition.

All games can be viewed live on Fast Hockey.


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