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VJW '99 Selects Ring in the New Year at the 2011 Bell Capital Cup
99selects_ottawa2011.jpg
VJW '99 Selects enjoyed the sites in historic Ottawa during their trip to the 2011 Bell Capital Cup
There was simply no better way to welcome the New Year. Mark Lester’s VJW ’99 Select squad traveled north earlier this month to compete in the always-competitive 2011 Bell Capital Cup in Ottawa. Despite taking on some of the top competition in North America, the Warriors won four games and advanced to the quarterfinals.

“I don’t know what was more competitive, the hotel knee-hockey games or the on-ice action,” joked head coach Mark Lester. “But we made our own fireworks by going 4-1 in the tournament. It was a great way to welcome the New Year and hopefully this tournament and our level of success spring boards us into the second half of the year”

It is not surprising that this young squad impressed so many in Ottawa. After all, the Warriors currently stand in third place in the Massachusetts Select Hockey League with a 15-5-2 record and have posted 125 goals and allowed just 53 goals against.

The type of offensive firepower and defensive stinginess was on display at the Bell Capital Cup beginning with the first face off.

In that opening “friendly” contest against Jokeritt Blue (Finland), the Warriors were able to stretch out their legs following a six-hour drive north and post a solid 5-3 victory. The following morning, the team was outstanding with a 4-0 blanking of the Nepean Raiders. That victory was followed by another decisive 4-0 win over Cumberland Jr Grads and then a tough 3-2 victory against the Suburban Stars.


“We had a terrific round robin and we out-skated teams,” said Lester. “Our ability to go to the net offensively made a big difference. One thing you will notice when you go to these tournaments is that the Warriors can skate with anyone which is a real tribute to the skills program we have in place.”


As a result of the team’s 4-0 record, the Warriors earned the number-one seed heading into the playoffs. First up for the Warriors was a showdown with the Ottawa Valley Seven Black on New Year’s Day. Unfortunately, the Warriors could not continue their winning ways as they fell by a score of 9-5.


“In round-robin play we were just solid on defense and our goalies played extremely well when called on,” said Lester. “The back-to-back shutouts were a big thrill for our defense. We work extremely hard on team defense and it is nice for our defensemen and goalies to be rewarded with shutouts.”


So impressive was the team’s defensive play that Patrick Hughes was named Defensive Player of the Game in the Scotiabank Canadian Tire All Star game. Also making noise in that all-star game were Sean
Oconnell (1 goal) and Bret Blackwell (1 assist).

Joining Hughes on defense are Jordan Perez, Nathan Bargman, Ethan Dore, Liam Burke and Ryan Donnelly, while Josh Kennedy and Camden Ludwig have shared netminding duties all season long.

Complementing the strong defensive play was the offensive firepower led by Eric Lester (4 goals, 3 assists) and Sean Oconnell (3 goals, 2 assists), who finished in the top five in scoring during round-robin play. Lester also dazzled during the skills competition where he won the sharp-shooting competition!


Filling out the offensive roster for the Warriors are Bret Blackwell, Eric Roberts, Aaron Harmon, Andrew Berube, Christopher Lattini, Jonathan Caux, Nolan Heinze and Steven Wesley.


“As well as we played on defense, the team offense was exceptional,” said Lester. “We were just moving the puck so well from zone to zone it was fun to watch. It was good team hockey. We tell them all of the time to go to where the goals are scored... get to the net. When we play like that, we are a difficult team to play against.”


With a difficult Massachusetts State Select League schedule remaining for this Warriors squad, the players and coaching staff realize that it will be a challenge to defend their state title. However, if their play in Ottawa is any indication of what lies ahead... the Warriors should be in good shape.


“We aren’t big on statistics on this team,” explained Lester. “As a staff we talk about it all the time. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when a team doesn’t care who gets the credit and I truly believe that our players feel that way.


They cheer for each other and cheer for each other’s successes. It is very noticeable that they play for each other. A huge part of our success to date is that we have three solid lines and a balanced scoring attack. We have 11 players with double digit points including six with more than 20. It truly is a team.”

 


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
Jan 9, 11
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
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