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VJW Junior A Team Readies For the Start of the 2014-15 Season

73575_small.jpgLast year, Andy Heinze faced a new league and a new team. This time around the long-time head coach of the Valley Jr Warriors is looking forward to some familiarity.

Heading into the team’s second season in the Eastern Hockey League, the Warriors welcome back an experienced corps of defensemen and forwards and three-time coach of the year understands the importance of a strong nucleus of players.

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“The biggest thing is that you have kids who know what is expected of them whether it is on or off the ice,” said Heinze. “They understand the routine and the systems and just being a year older and stronger makes a big difference.”

Returning for a third year is Andrew McAvoy (Mechanicsville, NY) who played in 39 games for the Warriors last season. He will be joined along the blueline by Justin Dewitz (Oronoco, MN), Hunter Wilhoite (Brentwood, TN) and Rudolfs Kalvitis (Riga, Latvia) who combined for 114 EHL games last season.

“When you have that experience and mix in a few talented newcomers it makes for an easier transition,” said Heinze,  who – among others – will welcome NA3HL talent Ben Lau (Prospect, KY) and Jack Williams (Suffield, CT) to the D lineup this season. “And then as we go along and hit some tough patches, the experience helps because those players can help the younger guys along.”

Offensive firepower will come from five strong returners in Troy Sutherland (Vancouver, BC), Van Sullivan (Brentwood, TN), Brendan Heinze (Danville, NH), Kris Holmes (Newburyport, MA) and Will Platt (San Fransisco, CA) as well as Mike McWeeney (Lexington, MA) who played last season with the Junior B team in the Metropolitan Hockey League.

“We will see who comes around and builds off of last season,” said Heinze. “We have kids who can find the net, but it will be about how consistent they can be.”
Heinze will look for contributions from newcomer Austin O’Rourke (White, GA). The son of NHL Referee Dan O’Rourke, Austin spent the summer training in Toronto.

“Austin got into a good fitness program and nutrition to pick up foot speed and he leaned out and had a good season,” said Heinze. “We will have to have more patience with him, but he could be an impact guy.”

Fighting for the starting position in net will be Central Catholic standout and Colin Soucy (North Andover, MA) and Nick Desimone (PA), who is coming off a stellar season for Loomis-Chaffee. 

“The season is a grind and the kids have to put their best foot forward to be successful,” said Heinze, whose team upset the third-seeded Connecticut Oilers in the first round of 2014 EHL Playoffs. “The returners have more confidence in themselves, so now the key will be how quickly the younger guys can get up to speed. We have a better handle on the character of the kids coming in and we were a little more selective. This should help to build off our good finish last year."

The VJW Junior A team kicks off the 2014-15 season on Sunday, September 21 against the East Coast Wizards. The game will take place at the Haverhill Valley Forum beginning at 12:05 p.m. Any player who comes to the game in their VJW jersey will receive free admission, so come cheer the Warriors on!!

INDEX
Warrior Alum Brian Pinho Returns to National Stage in Frozen Four!
Brian Pinho Returns to the National Stage in Frozen Four!
VJW Junior A Team Clinches 2014-15 EHL Playoff Spot
VJW Juniors Sweep in Vermont; Will Platt Stands Third in Team Scoring
First Edition of Warrior News Hits VJW's Rink Network
'01 Domination - Nick Cafarelli & Matt Walsh Named Players of the Week
Valley Jr Warriors Represent Well - Again - at the Annual Beanpot Tournament
Former VJW Junior A Star Ryan Fitzgerald Named Eagle of the Week
From Mite to Air Force Academy - Zach Mirageas Announces Collegiate Plans
VJW Alums Featured in 2015 NHL Draft Central Scouting Service Midterm Rankings
VJW '01 Selects Capture Bronze at 2015 Quebec Cup
VJW '02 Selects Win Big at the 2015 Kennedy Memorial Tournament
Six Valley Jr Warrior Teams Advance to Playoffs at the Kennedy Memorial Tournament
Ryan Fitzgerald & Mike Vecchione Nominated for the 2015 Hobey Baker Memorial Award
Come One, Come 10 VJW Teams to the Kennedy Memorial Tournament
VJW Junior A Spotlight on Defenseman Ben Lau
McKennelley & Neary Collect League Player of the Week Honors
Vecchione Named to Frozen Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team
Team USA & Noah Hanifin Off to Fast Start at World Junior Championship
VJW Junior A Team Caps Off 2014 With Two Big League Wins
Noah Hanifin Nets Shorty & Steals Show For 2015 U.S. National Junior Team
VJW Junior A Team HIts Road for Key Three-Game Series
Three Former VJW Stars Shine For Saint Anselm Hawks
Valley Jr Warriors Now Accepting 2015-16 Coaching Applications
Eight Years & Counting - VJW '00 Selects Support Those in Need
VJW Alum Alex Carpenter Named Hockey East Player of the Month
From the VJW to Harvard - a Success Story for Alum Devin Tringale
VJW Junior A Team Returns From Break With Big Win Over the New Jersey Titans
Ryan O’Halloran of the VJW '02 Elites Named E9 Player of the Week
VJW '04 Selects Finish Second at the 2014 Turkey Tournament
Valley Jr Warrior Teams Dominate at Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament
2014 Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament Summary
Five VJW Teams Advance to Playoffs at the 2014 Warrior Thanksgiving Tournament
Player Spotlight on Valley Jr Warriors Junior A Netminder Colin Soucy
Shane Tracy Named ECAC Northeast Rookie of the Week
VJW Alumni Feature - Jake Kulevich of #6 Colgate University
Two VJW Players Named Elite 9 Hockey League Players of the Week
Mike Vecchione Named ECAC Hockey Player of the Month
VJW '03 Selects Quiz Torey Krug on Bruins Faceoff Live
VJW U-18 Squad Advances to Playoffs of 2014 Beantown Fall Classic
Doubling Up: Mike Vecchione Named ECAC Player of the Week
Hunter Wilhoite Named EHL Defensive Player of the Week
VJW Junior A Team Sweeps Weekend to Move Up EHL Standings
Mike Vecchione Named ECAC Hockey Player of the Week
VJW '00 Selects Step Out in Support of a Friend & a Great Cause
VJW Junior A Team Takes Two Out of Three at the EHL Columbus Day Showcase
VJW Program Takes Center Stage On Eastern Hockey League Web Site
Former VJW Players Highlight Top-Ranked Division I Collegiate Rosters
VJW Junior A Team Prepares for the EHL's Columbus Day Showcase
VJW Midget Teams Set for Tier 1 Showcase in Westborough
VJW Youth Teams Off to Strong Elite 9 & Boston Hockey League Start
VJW Junior A Team Scores Big Home Victory Over Boston Junior Rangers
Eric MacAdams Made National Heads Turn at USA Hockey Player Development Camp
Noah Hanifin Draws USA Hockey Headlines & Makes Boston College History
Four VJW Standouts Highlight 2014 All-American Prospects Roster
Brogen Photography Comes to the Valley Junior Warriors
EHL Spring Showcase Comes to the Haverhill Valley Forum in 2015
Sep 19, 14
VJW Junior A Team Readies For the Start of the 2014-15 Season
VJW '03 Elites Win Divisional Title at 2014 Warrior National Showcase
2014 Warrior National Showcase Comes to a Close
Alex Carpenter Named to 2014 U.S. Women's Under-22 Select Team
Brogen Photography - 2014 Order Form
Ready to Go… Showcase Schedule Posted
Valley Jr Warrior Summer Camp Sets The Stage for the 2014-15 Season
VJW Alum Chris Kreider Signs Two-Year Deal With New York Rangers