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VJW Teams Perform Well at 2010 Bauer Invitational

bauer_2010.gifFour Valley Junior Warrior teams have returned home after competing in the 2010 Bauer International Invitational, arguably the premier youth hockey tournament in North America.

Although they may have not won any titles, all four teams – the ’96 Elites, ’97 Elites, ’98 Elites and ’99 Elites – competed well and proved that they can keep pace with even the best teams in North America.

"It was a great experience for all of the teams to play against the top talent in the nation," said Fred Devereaux, the VJW Director of Player Development who was taking in all of the action this weekend in Chicago. "We were impressed with how the kids responded to the pressure, and we are going to build on the experience gained here in Chicago."

This year’s highly-anticipated event featured 408 teams in the boys division and more than 8,500 players from the United States, Canada and Russia.


"There is no question that this is tournament prepares teams for the rest of the season," explains Devereaux, who also serves as a scout for the Calgary Flames. "It was a good test for our players, and it gave our coaches a feel for what we need to work on to continue to battle with the top teams in the country."

Here is a summary of the impressive play by the four VJW teams.

VJW ‘96 Elites
It was a tall order for the Warriors this year as the they competed in the Youngstown Division which included two of the top 10 teams in the nation. To kick off the tournament, the ’96 VJW Elites faced off against Team Wisconsin and skated to a 4-4 tie. After falling behind 3-1, the Warriors exploded in the third period and outscored Team Wisconsin by a 3-to-1 margin to finish with a key point.

Next up was a formidable challenge in the form of the team expected to win the championship title this year – second-ranked Detroit Belle Tire. Although the Warriors could not pull out the upset victory, the Warriors put on a strong showing as they were tied with Detroit following one period and down by just one heading into the second stanza.

That contest gave the Warriors confidence heading into an exciting second-day battle with Whitby Wildcats from Ontario, ranked ninth in the Ontario hockey rankings. In what was a back-and-forth contest, the Warriors jumped out to a 2-0 advantage following goals by Pat Daly and Cam Brown. The Wildcats scored three unanswered goals, but the Warriors had an answer thanks to tallies by Nolan Redler, Alex Lester and Zach Cote who all scored in the second period. The Ontario powerhouse took an early 6-5 lead in the third period, but the Warriors stormed back as Redler netted his second of the game at the 3:16 mark to tie the contest and earn his team a key tie.

Ranked 14th in the nation, the Warriors finished off the tournament by scoring four times against the 27th-ranked Dallas Alliance Bulldogs.

Upon their return home, the Warriors will look to continue its impressive MSYHL play. Heading into the Bauer International Invitational, the VJW '96 Elites were atop the Bantam Major standings with a league record of 11-0-1. 

Click here for complete results for the VJW ’96 Elites.

VJW '97 Elites
Currently ranked 11th in the country, the VJW ’97 Elites competed in one of the toughest divisions which included two teams ranked in the top five!

In its first contest, the Warriors took on the 14th-ranked Barrie Colts from Ontario. After taking a 2-1 lead midway through the second period courtesy of goals by Zach Mirageas and Jack McKenelley, the Barrie Colts stormed back to even the score after two periods. They went on to net the game winner at the 2:40 mark of the third period.

That tough loss was especially hard to recover from considering the team had to face No. 2-ranked St. Louis Amateur Blues later that day. Although the Warriors struck first in the first period, St. Louis went on to score four unanswered goals en route to a 5-2 victory. Casey Fitzgerald and Eric MacAdams scored in the losing effort.

With its playoff hopes all but lost, the Warriors showed grit and determination during their final game against the Chicago Young Americans (CYA). The CYA, a team ranked fifth in the nation and one that was expected to knock off the Blues in this year’s season, jumped on the board first and held on to a 1-0 advantage through two periods. It was all the Warriors come the third period, however, as they outscored Chicago by a 3-to-1 margin. Although a team effort throughout, the Warriors received offensive contributions in that game from Mirageas, Garrett Pietz and Noah Hanifin.

Undefeated in New England Hockey League (NEHL) play, the Warriors have much to look forward to. In addition to five key league games, they will take part in the 2010 Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament and then travel to Canada to compete in the Richard Bell Tournament in Toronto over Christmas. The following month, the team will serve as host of the 2010 SuperSeries 97.

Click here for complete results for the VJW ’97 Elites.

VJW '98 Elites
The VJW ’98 Elites came just a few games shy of a national title this year. The Warriors finished with a 2-1-0 regulation record and earned a spot in the playoff bracket. In that first round playoff game against Team Maryland, the Warriors held a 3-2 advantage after two periods thanks to goals scored by JJ Harding, Billy Falter and Evan McDonald. Team Maryland proved too much in the end, however, as the squad scored three unanswered goals in the third period for the 5-3 victory. Interestingly, Team Maryland had some professional-level experience on the bench as longtime Washington Capitals vice president and general manager George McPhee serves as an assistant coach.

Leading up to that exciting playoff game, the Warriors had been on a roll. Bouncing back from a disappointing 6-1 loss against the North Central Predators on Friday, the team posted a 5-3 win over Toledo Cherokee and then a huge 9-5 decision over GB Junior Gramblers.

In that final regulation game, the Warriors scored four times in the first (three coming off the stick of Evan MacDonald), two times in the second and three times in the third period.

Currently undefeated in MSYHL play with an 8-0-2 record, the Warriors will have just one week of rest and practice before they face off against the only team standing above them in the league standings – Middlesex Braves. With 12 league wins thus far, the Braves will take on the Warriors on Saturday, November 13th in East Boston.

Click here for complete results for the VJW ’98 Elites.

VJW '99 Elites
Competing in a division featuring 16 of the top 25 teams in the United States and four out of the top 10 from Ontario, the ’99 VJW Elites battled valiantly against some intense firepower in the form of Ajax Pickering Raiders, Wisconsin Fire and the Philadelphia Junior Flyers.

After being blanked by the Raiders in the first game of the tournament, the Warriors took on the Wisconsin Fire in a highly anticipated second game. Although not yet ranked nationally (they need to play five games), the new program was predicted to battle for the top spot in this year's tournament. The Warriors kept it close throughout thanks to key tallies by Michael McGreal, Craig Needham and Matthew Quercia.

In its final game against the 13th-ranked Philadelphia Junior Flyers, the Warriors hung tough but eventually fell by a score of 4-1. Needham netted his second goal of the tournament.

Looking forward, the Warriors will hope to improve on its 5-5-2 NEHL record this month as they will take on the Spartans and Falcons, teams ranked just ahead of the Warriors in the league standings.

Click here for complete results for the VJW ’99 Elites.


INDEX
VJW Coaches Bring "Unique" Professional Experiences to the Program
Time to Come Home - By Mike Lynch
Little Big Men - By Mike Lynch
Chris Kreider & Team USA Fall In Quarterfinals Against Czech Republic
VJW Players Eager to Hit the Ice Again
Remember, So You Will Never Forget - By Mike Lynch
VJW Star Chris Kreider Named to 2011 U.S. National Team
Success Measured - By Mike Lynch
Ram Tough - By Mike Lynch
VJW All-Star Colin Blackwell Continues to Shine On & Off the Ice
VJW Junior B's Tyler Sifferlin Passes Freshman Test
The VJW Super Six - Eiserman, Blackwell, Irving and Kulevich
17 Former VJW Players Compete in 2011 Super 8 Finals
Former VJW Standout Joe Cucci Leads Merrimack to NCAA Tournament
Rebel With a Cause - By Mike Lynch
VJW '01 Elites Deliver Impressive NEHL Championship Victory
VJW '97 Elites Cap Off Another Impressive Season With an NEHL Title
King of the Hill - By Mike Lynch
VJW '97 Elites Capture 2011 New England Hockey League Title
VJW Junior A Season Comes to An End; Falls in EJHL Quarterfinals
VJW Junior A Team Advances to EJHL Quarterfinals
VJW Junior A Team Skates to Key Playoff Win over Revolution
VJW '99 Selects Raise Money For a Family Cause
VJW Mite Minors Win 2011 NEHL Mite National Title
Save the Date - 2011 VJW Tournament Dates Released
On Top of His World - By Mike Lynch
Former VJW Standout Chris Kreider Named Beanpot MVP
Darcy, Silk Help Team USA Win 2011 Vlad Dzurilla Tournament
VJW Players Recognized by the New England Hockey League
Former VJW Junior A Star Joe Cucci Leads Merrimack to Record Season
VJW Accepting Coaches Applications for 2011-2012 Season
Fire Still "Burns" - By Mike Lynch
VJW Junior A Team Wins Two Out of Three During Key League Weekend
VJW '98 Elites Ice League-Leading Middlesex Braves, 2-1
VJW Mite Major Elites Score 2nd Place Finish at JWK Tournament
VJW Mite Minors Wow the TD Bank Garden Crowd
VJW '96 Elite Players Continue to Lead on High School Stage
Sarig, Braun, Heinze & Nazarian Selected as Junior All Stars
VJW '97 Elites Headline This Weekend's AAA SuperSeries Event
VJW '99 Selects Ring in the New Year at the 2011 Bell Capital Cup
Chris Kreider Named Player of the Game for Team USA
A Beautiful Day - By Mike Lynch
VJW Junior B Ara Nazarian Is the Empire League's Rising Star
VJW Junior A Team Notches Two League Wins Against the Glades
Cameron Darcy Leads U.S. at World Under-17 Hockey Challenge
Former VJW Standout Chris Kreider Is A Force for Team USA
VJW Mite Minors Take on "Biggest" Foe of the Season
Just Added... 2011 AAA SuperSeries Schedule Now Available
The Right Stuff - By Mike Lynch
VJW Players Take Time to Give Back During the Holiday Season
Five VJW Junior Bs Make Varsity High School Hockey Teams
Warriors End 2010 On a Winning Note Against the Glades
Chris Kreider Highlights U.S. National Junior Team Preliminary Roster
VJW Junior A Team Blanks Apple Core at 10th Annual Invitational Showcase
VJW Alumni In the News - UMass-Dartmouth's Valley Fivesome
Fitzgerald ('97 Elites) & Sweeney ('01 Elites) Named Players of the Week
Heads Up For Kelsey - By Mike Lynch
VJW Junior A Standout John Jackson Earns EJHL Weekly Honor
Noah Hanifan Named NEHL Player of the Week
VJW '00 Selects Collect Bronze Medals at Can/Am Challenge Cup
Host Teams Perform Well at 2010 Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament
Teams Prepare for 2010 Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament
VJW Junior A Team Enjoys Two-Game Win Streak
Anthony Aresco & Jack Cronin Earn NEHL Weekly Honor
No Hazing Zone - by Mike Lynch
VJW Junior A Team Caps Off Another Warrior Classic
VJW U16 IIs Continue Winning and Championship Ways
Nov 7, 10
VJW Teams Perform Well at 2010 Bauer Invitational
EJHL & Independent Teams Prepare for 15th Warrior Classic
Annie Grab Your Stick - By Mike Lynch
Longtime VJW Standout Colin Blackwell Commits to Harvard
'96 Elites Jump Out to an Impressive Start
97 Elites Off to Fast, Unbeaten Start
Longtime VJW Standout Colin Blackwell Commits to Harvard for 2012 Season
Warrior Teams Off to a Fast and Fun Start
Retiring Coaches Honored at Golf Tourney
AAA SuperSeries Comes to Haverhill in 2010
VJW '99 Selects Make a Difference On and Off the Ice