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VJW Teams Impress Early During NEHL Qualifying
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Less than six months ago, two Valley Jr Warriors teams captured 2011 New England Hockey League (NEHL) titles.

Fast forward to the new season and it appears that history may repeat itself in 2012.. and then some.

Following the first three weeks of qualifying in the NEHL, three Warriors teams are undefeated and the program’s eight teams have posted a combined 45 wins and just seven losses.

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Those Warriors teams are taking part in an exciting Qualifying Jamboree that will establish the divisions for the upcoming season. This year’s season will feature an American and National Division and it is enjoying the addition of three new programs - Boston Advantage, Boch Blazers and the East Coast Wizards.

Stealing the spotlight during these early stages are the VJW 97 Elites, 01 Elites and 03 Elites (shown right) which are a combined 18-0-1. In addition, the VJW 99 Elites are an impressive 6-0-1, while the 98 Elites and 02 Elites are both 5-1-0.

One team enjoying this special time is the VJW 03 Elites, which staged a memorable victory last spring when they captured an NEHL title despite playing teams that were nearly all one year older.

It appears that Head Coach Jack Blaeser and his fellow coaches have the team ready for another great run this season. They are currently the only team in their division that is undefeated and have outscored their opponents by a 75-to-13 margin. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that the Warriors have posted four shutouts despite not having a true and regular goalie on the roster.

“We are really excited about the season and the kids have already come together as a team,” said Blaeser. “We have added some new players who fit right in.”

New player Colin Van Stry from Winchester seems to agree.

"My experience joining the Warriors has been awesome!"

The squad began the new season with three straight shutouts during the first weekend of play. During that stretch of games, the Warriors allowed just seven total shots. Three more victories the following weekend led them to a showdown with the only other undefeated team in the league -  03 Boston Advantage. Unlike its past contests, this game was a fierce battle as the Warriors gave up three quick goals and found themselves trailing 0-3 with 1:22 left in the first period.

But this young team embraced its motto of “never give up” and fought back with with four straight goals and eventually an 8-6 win for their seventh straight win. It brought back sweet memories of its 2011 championship run where they stormed back from early deficits in both the semifinals and finals en route to eventual victories.

Most importantly, this young team clearly loves to play together... something the VJW coaches have stressed from day one.

"I really love playing on this team,” said defenseman Dominik Cignetti “I really like my teammates, and we have a lot of fun together.”

Teammate Drew Blackwell concurs.

"I really like playing with these guys. Everybody passes the puck, everybody works hard, and we're having lots of fun."

That type of camaraderie and team work - coupled with the obvious skill from top to bottom of the roster - will certainly be key once the NEHL divisions have been set and the schedule finalized.

Regardless of the wins and losses, this team will be one to watch. See roster below.

Click here to follow all eight VJW teams in exciting NEHL action, and be sure to check back to the VJW web site often for more stories on these - as well as the other teams competing in the inaugural Hockey Northeast season.

Here is the VJW 03 Elites roster.
  • Drew Blackwell
  • Pierce Blaeser
  • Noah Bird
  • Brady Bomal 
  • Owen Burke
  • Anthony Cafarelli
  • Dominik Cignetti
  • Seamus Cummings
  • Michael Dinges
  • Parker Defeo
  • Adam Heinze
  • Shane Lachance
  • Tommy Sacco
  • Colin Van Stry
  • Camden Tinkham

INDEX
Good As Gold - By Mike Lynch
It's OK Ray - By Mike Lynch
Blackwell Prepares for 2012 National Junior Evaluation Camp
Sam Kurker & Brendan Collier Selected in 2012 Entry Draft
Anton Bernard Continues to Enjoy His Post-VJW Career in Italy
Not Your Average Tree Stump - By Mike Lynch
2012 Warrior Classic To Feature Elite Prospects Teams
Chris Kreider Shines On, Breaks Records With the Rangers
VJW Players Perform Well to Finish 2nd at Merrimack Valley Cup
2012 Eastern Junior Hockey League Spring Showcase
VJW Summer Discounts at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning
14 VJW Players Selected For 2012 USA Hockey Development Camp
The Crown Was Too Heavy - By Mike Lynch
VJW Prepares For Inaugural Season in the Elite Prospects League
Chris Kreider Nets Game Winner in Game 6 For the Rangers
VJW Junior A Players Announce College Plans
2012-13 VJW Midget Coaches Announced
Chris Kreider Signs Deal With New York Rangers
Purple Passion - By Mike Lynch
2012 USA Hockey National Championships - Summary
Warrior Shawn Moody Selected to NH U-17 Festival Team
Tryout Reminder - Junior & Midget Dates and Times Are Posted
Three VJW Teams Prepare for 2012 National Championships
Warriors Take Home Three EJHL End-of-Season Awards
VJW '00 Elites Capture 2012 NEHL Championship Title
March Gladness - By Mike Lynch
VJW '99 Elites & '99 Selects Heading to USA Hockey Nationals
VJW Junior A Season Comes to an End in EJHL Quarterfinals
VJW Welcomes Stop It Goaltending for 2012-13 Season
Valentine's Day - By Mike Lynch
VJW Netminder Fabian Sivnert Accepts Scholarship to Bemidji State
VJW Junior A Team Advances to EJHL Quarterfinals... Again!
Save the Date - 2012 VJW Tournament Dates Released
Yes You Can - By Mike Lynch
Warriors Announce the Introduction of FULL SEASON U-16 Team
Former VJW Players Battle For Boston's Hockey Bragging Rights
VJW Teams Support Great Causes on the Frog Pond in Boston
Former VJW Star Sam Kurker Continues Dream Year
VJW Junior A Defenseman Conor Riley Heading to Maine
Josh Woody Named EJHL Offensive Player of the Week
VJW '99 Selects Find Time for Hockey & Fun Outside
Warriors Represented in NHL Central Scouting's Midterm Rankings
VJW Accepting Coaches Applications for 2012-2013 Season
VJW Junior A Forward Mark Meads Commits to Bentley University
Scenes From Around Town - VJW Mite Minors
VJW Netminder Sivnert Named EJHL Defensive Player of the Week
Former VJW Star Colin Blackwell Featured in Hometown Paper
Skate On! - By Mike Lynch
North Team Loses, but VJW Players Shine at EJHL All-Star Game
VJW '99 Selects Lead the Winning Charge During MLK Weekend
Four VJW Players Selected for the 2012 EJHL All-Star Game
VJW Teams Compete Well at the 2012 JWK Tournament
VJW '01 Selects Continue to Roll in Holiday Tournament Play
VJW '03 Selects Skate to Victory During the Holiday Break
VJW '00 Elites Face Off in 2K Super Series Tournament
Men of Steele - By Mike Lynch
Six And Counting for the Red Hot VJW Junior A's
VJW '00 Selects Take Time to Give Back to Toys For Tots
Colin Blackwell Feeling Right At Home in Cambridge
VJW Junior As Extend Winning Streak to Four Games
VJW '97 Elite Players Prepare for High School Challenges
Warriors Sweep Glades to Move Into Third in Northern Division
VJW '01 Selects Win Big at Thanksgiving Tournament
Occupy Anti-Hazing - By Mike Lynch
VJW '00 Selects Capture Bronze at 2011 CAN/AM Tournament
VJW Teams Take Home Titles, Impress at Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament
Teams Prepare for 2011 Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament
VJW Teams Come Together For A Great Cause
VJW '97 Elites Win States; Are National Bound Again
Family Affair - By Mike Lynch
VJW Teams Bring Home Gold, Three Bronzes at 2011 CAN/AM Tournament
VJW Junior Squads Perform Well at the 2011 Warrior Classic
2011 Warrior Classic Underway in Haverhill
VJW Mite Minors Enjoy a "Special" Visit
VJW '03 Selects Look Strong Heading Into CAN/AM Tournament
VJW Junior As Split Weekend Series With Apple Core
Barrier Buster - By Mike Lynch
Four VJW Squads Fare Well at 2011 Bauer International Challenge
VJW Junior As Extend Win Streak to Four Games
Three VJW Players Earn New England Hockey League Weekly Honors
Fenway Follies - By Mike Lynch
Trevor Braun Delivers Again; Leads Junior As to Win over Monarchs
Two Big Wins Lift VJW '97 Elites to the No. 2 Spot In the Nation
Warriors Skate to Big 7-5 Victory Over the Jersey Hitmen
Warriors Put A Little Bit of "Pink" In Their Step
VJW 03 Selects Enjoy Hockey Northeast Debut
Oct 3, 11
VJW Teams Impress Early During NEHL Qualifying
VJW Junior A Team Ready For New Challenges
No Light At The End Of This Tunnel - By Mike Lynch
Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning Center Comes to Haverhill
Happy New Year By Mike Lynch
VJW '97 Elites Ready For Another Memorable Season
Defying the Odds: 2011 Warrior National Showcase Is a Hit
Ring the Bell for Keegan - By Mike Lynch
Al Always Gave His All - By Mike Lynch
2011 Warrior August National Showcase Comes to Haverhill in August
Summer of Stanley - By Mike Lynch
Former Warrior Colin Blackwell Selected In 2011 NHL Entry Draft
Welcome Home Stanley! - By Mike Lynch
Come One, Come All to the 2011 VJW Golf Classic
VJW '97 Elites Enjoy Impressive Spring Hockey Festival Performance