Six months ago, the VJW ’97 Elites finished the 2010-2011 season ranked 10th in the country. It’s scary to think that this talented team is even better this season, but that just may be the case.
Case in point, the Warriors are coming off a dominating performance at the 2011 Warrior National Showcase. Not only did the squad capture their second straight title, they did it in an impressive manner by winning all five games and scoring 32 goals.
“We didn’t allow one goal in five games,” said Steve MacAdams,
head coach of the VJW ’97 Elites and the organization's director of
program development. “We were good last year and the year before, but we
are even better this year. We have a strong corps of players and we
picked up a few new good kids as well.”
The idea of the VJW ’97
Elites being better this year is a scary thought for their opponents,
especially the Seacoast Spartans who were a top 20 team last season and
one of the few local teams able to keep pace with the Warriors. In last
month’s Warrior National Showcase, however, the Warriors blanked the
Spartans by a score of 4-0 in the finals.
“They had played a
couple of hours earlier and we didn’t, but we controlled the game
throughout,” said MacAdams. “We probably allowed only 20 or so shots in
One of the strengths for the Warriors this year will
be the size and depth of their roster. The team will carry 11 forwards,
six defensemen and three goalies which will no doubt help the team
compete against the nation’s best.
Two years ago, the Warriors
gained valuable experience en route to their semifinal finish at the
2010 USA Hockey Tier I National Championship. MacAdams and his coaching
staff is hoping that the experience on the national stage as well as
another strong year of league play (they won the New England Hockey
League title last spring) will translate into a strong showing come this
“We don’t stop,” said MacAdams. “We just keep coming and
coming, which is a tribute to the kids. They keep working hard
regardless of the score.”
For the first time, this team will also
take part in a split season. As such, the team will play together in
the fall and then go their separate ways in order to compete for their
high school teams. They will regroup come spring and hopefully complete
their season with another trip to the National Championship.
used to be that when we went to nationals we knew that we could compete
but we realized that we would have to play great and make no mistakes in
order to win,” said MacAdams. “We have a better chance this year
because of the way we practice and because of the kids that we have on
Preparation for what will be an exciting season
will include a tough Hockey Northeast schedule as well as tournament
play at the 2011 Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament and the 2011 Bauer
"Our goal is to prepare these kids for high school," said MacAdams. "But we are also looking forward to a great season together."