The changing of the leaves means that hockey season is well
underway here in New England. All of the Valley Jr Warriors teams have been
competing in league and tournament play and are already posting impressive
Earlier this season, two Warrior squads – the ’97 Elites and
’99 Elites (shown right) – captured divisional titles at the 2010 Warrior National Showcase. This popular pre-season tournament featured 55 teams from across the Northeast.
From the start, the ’99 Elites – which blanked Top Gun in
that Warrior National Showcase final – have been challenging themselves by
competing against the best. In a pre-season warm-up, the Warriors welcomed Team
Comcast, currently ranked 18th in the nation according to www.myhockeyrankings.com, to the
Haverhill Valley Forum for a two-game series. The two teams split those games,
and since that time the Warriors – led by four-year VJW coach Steve Leach –
have been continuing that type of strong play by posting key New England Hockey League
(NEHL) victories over the New Hampshire Avalanche, Seacoast Spartans and the
Albany River Rats.
The ’97 Elites, meanwhile, are still flying high following a
2009-2010 season which saw the team advance to the semifinals
of the USA Hockey Tier I National Championship. This year, the team has
continued where it left off by compiling a 14-0 record. During those 14
games, the squad has outscored its opponents by an incredible 84-8 margin. That
stretch also included 10 shutouts. The team’s 6-0-0 record in NEHL play also
places the Warriors atop the ’97 American Conference in NEHL play.
of mid-October, the '97 Elites and the '96 Elites were ranked 12th and
11th, respectively, in the national rankings There is no question why
the '96 Elites squad is making noise across the country as the team has
registered a 13-1 overall record, while outscoring
their opponents by a 89-25 margin.
Another Warrior team that is
providing highlights this season is the youngest crew of players – the Mite
Minor Elites (shown left). Led by first-year coach Jack Blaeser, the team has posted a 4-1-1
NEHL record and stands in first place in the Mite National Conference division.
Throughout the season, stories will be posted on these squads as well as the many other Warrior teams that
compete in the NEHL and Massachusetts State Select Hockey League.
addition, a strong field of junior squads from the Eastern Junior Hockey League
(EJHL) and Independent Leagues will be traveling to the Haverhill Valley Forum
to take part in the 2010 Warrior Classic from November 11-14. Just weeks later, more
than 70 teams from across the country will travel to Haverhill to compete in
the 2010 Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament.
Complete schedule and results for all VJW
teams are now available.