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Anton Bernard Continues to Enjoy His Post-VJW Career in Italy
bernard.jpgDuring 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 since then.

Here is an article on the former VJW player, courtesy of the EJHL's Mike Klein.

Stockholm, 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.

“I 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.”

Once 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.

“The 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.

Bernard made his World Championship debut this year as Italy competed in the Elite Division after earning promotion from Division One the previous season.

“Everything [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.”

Reflecting 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.”

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
May 23, 12
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
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