Following an eight-game away stretch, the Valley Jr Warriors Junior A squad returned to the friendly confines of Haverhill Valley Forum and have been flying ever since.
The talented squad of junior-level players has won two of the last three games during a stretch that dates back to November 3 when the Warriors defeated EHL Central foe Walpole Express by a score of 3-1.
They followed that key league victory with arguably the biggest victory of the season as part of the 2013 Warrior Classic, which is being hosted – once again – by the Valley Junior Warriors program.
On Friday, the Warriors knocked out the EHL North leading New Hampshire Monarchs. It was only the third Monarchs loss of the season.
“It’s always nice to play on your home rink,” said Andy Heinze, head coach and general manager of the VJW Junior A team. “Our players have been responding well and it’s rewarding for them to see the results on the scoresheet.”
Through Saturday evening, the Warriors are led in scoring by Charlie Widmar (14 points) andChristian Elsborg (13 points).
Below is a summary of those three key home victories. The Warriors will cap off the 2013 Warrior Classic on Sunday when they face off against the NE Wolves. They will then hit the road beginning with a Friday league matchup against the New Jersey Titans.
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Valley Jr Warriors 3, Walpole Express 1
After falling behind by a score of 1-0 in the first period, the Warriors exploded for three goals in the second period to capture the league win. Elliott Polanchyck finished with two goals, while Rudolfs Kalvitis posted one goal and Hunter Wilhoite and Van Sullivan both finished with two assists. The first tally came at the 17:29 mark of the second stanza with the other two following less than two minutes later in a span of just four seconds. The Warriors outshot the Express by an impressive 51-to-18 margin.
Valley Jr Warriors 3, New Hampshire Monarchs 2
Fueled by a strong start, the Warriors scored three goals in the first two periods and held on for the 3-2 victory. Griffin Dyne – off helpers by Dominic Corsetto and Jordan Deckard – started off the Warrior scoring barrage at the 12:06 mark of the first period. Justin DeWitz netted a powerplay tally two minutes later. Shane Tracy extended the Warriors’ lead to 3-0 at the 16:12 mark of the second period. Although the Monarchs scored once late in the second period and then again just 4:06 into the third period, the Warriors held on thanks in part to a 31-save performance by Matt Penta. Connecticut Oilers 3 at Valley Jr. Warriors 2 The Warriors jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after two periods, but Connecticut chipped away and eventually pulled out the overtime victory in Haverhill. Charlie Widmar scored the game's first tally just 32 seconds into the game off assists from Dan Holland and Shane Tracy. Holland extended the lead to 2-0 at the 11:15 mark of the first stanza. Despite a 26-save effort by Matt Penta, the Warriors could not hold off the Oilers who scored just 14 seconds into the overtime period.