Two lucky VJW teams enjoyed a practice session that won’t soon be forgotten.
On Wednesday night at the Lawrence Valley Forum, the VJW ’05 Elite and VJW ’06 Elite squads were joined for an entire hour by former NHL star Mike Dunham.
Dunham, who has served as the goaltending coach for the New York Islanders for the past seven seasons, is a veteran of 10 NHL seasons.
In addition to the Islanders, Dunham played for the New Jersey Devils, Nashville Predators, New York Rangers and Atlanta Thrashers. He also won a silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics with the United States.
Prior to that, Dunham played collegiate hockey at the University of Maine, where he shared goaltending duties with current Islanders General Manager Garth Snow. He was named to the NCAA East First All-American Team and the Hockey East First All-Star Team in 1992-93. That same season, Dunham won an NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship with the Black Bears.
While at the Warriors’ practice, Dunham spoke to the players and provided goaltending assistance for more than an hour. After practice was over, Dunham took time to sign autographs and take pictures with the young aspiring players.
"It was a fun experience that I know the kids will remember for a
long time,” said Frank Vana, head coach of the VJW ’05 Elites. “It was
great to see them all line up and wait for their chance to talk to Mike
and learn more about his experiences.”
A handful of players even had a chance to touch and wear the Olympic medal which Dunham brought with him.
There is no doubt that those young players dreamt of Olympic glory that evening.
Thanks to Mike Dunham for taking the time to give back to the young players!