Former VJW Junior A Star Joe Cucci Leads Merrimack to Record Season
Joe_Cucci.jpgFormer VJW Junior A star Joe Cucci (Melrose Park, IL) is enjoying another strong season at Merrimack College,

In his team's recent showdown with Hockey East foe Northeastern, Cucci netted two power-play goals in the third period and then scored the game winner just 28 seconds into overtime to give his No. 12-ranked Merrimack team a 4-3 victory at Matthews Arena.

That impressive performance gave Cucci, who played for Andy Heinze's Junior A squad for two seasons, eight points in two games and 26 points this season.

The third-leading scorer on the team, the senior Cucci has been a key cog for Merrimack this year. In addition to picking up a program-record seventh straight road win against Northeastern, the Warriors - just this past weekend - moved into third place overall in the league standings with its 17th win, the most in its Hockey East history.

Throughout his two-year VJW career, Cucci was a dominating force in the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL). During the 2004-05 season, he led the EJHL with 29 goals and a league-leading 50 assists for 79 points. His second year brought much of the same domination as he served as team captain and led the way with 29 goals and 24 assists.

After spending one year at Northeastern (see article below), Cucci transferred to Merrimack where he has flourished since the 2007-08 season. A three-time Hockey East All-Academic Team honoree, scored 51 goals during his first three years at Merrimack.

Click here to learn more about Cucci's performance and to see a video of his thrilling overtime game winner! ... or see below for an article posted by the Eagle Tribune!

Former Husky delivers fatal bite

BOSTON — For a short while, Joe Cucci was a member of the Northeastern Huskies.

Now, he's the Huskies' killer.

Cucci potted three goals and an assist, including the overtime winner, in last night's 4-3 win for the Warriors over Northeastern at Matthews Arena, extending the Warriors' record to 16-5-4 on the season. The win ties a school record for Division 1 victories set last season.

The Melrose Park, Ill., playmaker never played a game for the Huskies before transferring to Merrimack midway through his freshman season.

Considering Cucci's knack for scoring on his old mates, Northeastern head coach Greg Cronin is unquestionably wishing he was able to hold on to him.

In 12 career games, Cucci finished his regular-season career with 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) against the Huskies, including six points (3 goals, 3 assists) in three games this season.

"I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel extra special," he said. "To do it here, in this building, felt great. This is one of the reasons I wanted to come (to Northeastern) in the first place. The atmosphere in (Matthews Arena) is awesome."

Both of Cucci's first two goals were on the power play and the Warriors went 2 for 6 with the man advantage.

Cucci has been an artist with time and space all season, sitting second in the league with 12 power-play points in 17 games.

"We made a few adjustments (on the power play)," Cucci said. "Our power play has been good all year. (Northeastern) will pressure down low but leave you alone up top."

The game-winner came with the teams even, when he sent a fluttering wrister at Northeastern netminder Chris Rawlings. The sophomore tried to make a save with his shoulder but it grazed his padding and hit the top of the net before falling in behind the goal line.

"I didn't even realize it went in at first," said Cucci, who has scored four points in back-to-back games. "I saw Barts (Chris Barton) jump up."

It's Cucci's first multi-goal game of the season, and first since he scored a hat trick last season against UMass at Lawler Arena. Normally, he's a pass-first player, who has helped set up the likes of Chris Barton and Merrimack's other scorers.

"Pass first is his instinct," said head coach Mark Dennehy. "We talked to him about shooting more because teams will start to play off you. Hopefully it continues."

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
Feb 6, 11
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
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