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VJW Mite Minors Take on "Biggest" Foe of the Season
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The youngest team in the VJW program – the Mite Minors – took a break from their normal practice schedule to have some fun and teach some "bigger" players just how tough the game of hockey can be!

Just days before Christmas, head coach Jack Blaeser used the team’s weekly Wednesday practice session to organize the first-annual "Players vs. Parents" game in Haverhill.

In what turned out to be an exciting and very competitive matchup, the young Warriors fell in a heartbreaker to their parents by a score of 7-5.

Despite being disappointed by the outcome, after the game the players welcomed the family and friends who cheered from the stands on ice for a fun skate around before everyone moved to the mezzanine for a pot-luck celebration!

"While the kids had a blast, it was the parent’s reaction that really surprised me," said Blaeser, who took a break from his role behind the bench to serve as referee. "They loved it and it was the first opportunity for most to play against their sons in a somewhat formal setting. Many of the parents were surprised by how fast the game was at this age."

Included in the many highlights from that afternoon showdown included fathers Stephen Defeo and Joe Cappello being called for controversial penalties and mother Rosie Dorrington making a great defensive breakaway stop on Warrior standout Dominik Cignetti!

"I must say I have a new perspective for how talented these kids are," said Paul Burke, whose son Owen plays for the Warriors. "Getting outskated by a seven year old is definitely an eye-opener."

The young crew of seven year olds has been surprising not only their parents but the New England Hockey League (NEHL) this season. Considering that most of the players had never competed in a seven-month long league season before, the coaches and parents have watched as the youngsters have grown with each passing month and become a force in the NEHL’s Mite National Division.

"These kids have been working so hard since the first day we came together back in August," said coach Mike Tinkham, a former Edmonton Oilers draftee and professional player. "Our weekly practices as well as the skill sessions that [VJW Director of Player Development] Fred Devereaux manages each Monday have made a huge difference especially in terms of our overall team speed, passing and confidence."

Heading into the New Year, the Warriors – who compete primarily against ’02 teams – are tied for second in the Mite National division just two points behind the Cyclones ‘02s. In the last three weeks, the team is undefeated with key league victories against the Monarchs, Assabet (2) and Avalanche. During that stretch, the Warriors have outscored their opponents by a 23-to-5 margin.

"Everyone is working hard and we are getting better with each game and that’s all you can ask at this level,” echoed coaches Peter Cignetti and Vinnie Bomal.

While the players and coaching staff will now focus on the league games that lie ahead in 2011, the players will not soon forget the special memories created during the “Players vs. Parents” game. In fact, neither will the parents!

Great job by all VJW Mite Minors:

  • #22 Jake Becker
  • #6 Tim Berube
  • #12 Drew Blackwell
  • #7 Pierce Blaeser
  • #17 Brady Bomal
  • #10 Owen Burke
  • #16 Daniel Cappello
  • #4 Dominik Cignetti
  • #55 Ethan Crawford
  • #5 Seamus Cummings
  • #11 Shane DAgostino
  • #18 Parker Defeo
  • #8 Jackson Dorrington
  • #9 Ryan McGuinness
  • #23 Joe O’Keefe
  • # 20 Camden Tinkham
  • Coaches -  Jack Blaeser, Bill Blackwell, Vinnie Bomal, Peter Cignetti and Mike Tinkham
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
Dec 29, 10
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
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