During the 2009-10 season, Anton Bernard (shown left in blue) was a standout player for the Valley Jr Warriors Junior A squad.
Since that time, he returned to his home in Italy and enrolled in the university and continued his hockey career.
As part of a three-part series, the EJHL is detailing the careers of
players like Bernard who came to America to play in the EJHL.
The interviews, all
conducted at the 2012 IIHF World Championships, explore what brought the
players to the EJHL and where their hockey careers have taken them
Here is an article on the former VJW player, courtesy of the EJHL's Mike Klein.
SWEDEN - When Anton Bernard needed a place to play for the 2009-10
season, he found help from an unlikely source: a teammate for the
Balzano Foxes of the Italian Serie A League who had a family connection
to the EJHL.
was playing with Mike Souza (cousin of 2007 EJHL Player of the Year Paul
Thompson), who went to the University of New Hampshire, and he made
some calls for me and got me a tryout with the Valley Jr. Warriors,”
Bernard recalled. “The beginning of the year was tough, the game was
much more intense because of the smaller rink, but I was able to adjust
and had a great year.”
the adjustment period passed, Bernard excelled, leading the Warriors in
scoring with 33 goals, tied for second in the league, and 17 assists.
The following season, Bernard returned to Balzano after a brief stop in Finland and enrolled in university.
first year back home was good, but the second year was even better. We
won the championship last year, so that was great,” he noted.
made his World Championship debut this year as Italy competed in the
Elite Division after earning promotion from Division One the previous
[in Stockholm] has been great. It’s been a tremendous experience being
here,” he said. “The goal is to stay in the top division, but it’s been
an honor to play here with some of the best players in the world.”
on his season in the EJHL, Bernard stated, “The league commits a lot of
guys to Division One hockey and that’s why I played [for Valley]. It
was great for my development and I’d recommend that league to anyone who
gets the chance to play there.”