Warriors Enjoy Strong Showing in Windy City
’93 Elites Advance to Semi-finals of Chicago Mission Invitational
In the end, it was a job well done!
Competing against some of the best junior teams in North America, the four Valley Junior Warrior teams that made their way to Chicago this past weekend to take part in the Chicago Mission Invitational Tournament represented themselves well. Stealing the spotlight was the ’93 Elites as
they advanced to the quarterfinals before being defeated by eventual
champion Chicago Mission. Heading into that quarterfinal matchup, the
‘93s were not only undefeated but they had posted a remarkable 35 goals
in five games. Although the squad added three more against the Chicago
Mission on Sunday, it was not enough to defeat the host powerhouse as
the ‘93s were sent home following a 7-3 defeat.
In total, the four Warrior teams collected nine wins during the
three-day event in the Windy City. The ‘94s finished with a 2-2 record,
while the ‘92s and ‘95s posted one win apiece.
Heading into Sunday, the ‘92s had yet to post a win. The team quickly
remedied that by posting a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Young
Americans. Greg Trembley put the Warriors on the board first just 1:55
into the game with a power-play tally with assists coming from Dan
Graham and Jacob Greeke. In the second stanza, Cam MacLeod and Graham
scored to put the ‘92s ahead 3-0. Although the Young Americans ended
the shutout bid with six minutes left in the game, the Warriors
responded 46 seconds later when Nick Potter delivered the empty netter
to secure the team’s first victory.
In the Warrior’s second game of the day, offense didn’t come so easily
as the ‘92s were shutout by a score of 1-0 against the Syracuse Stars.
The lone goal of the game came courtesy of Mike Montagna just 5:18 into
the second period.
Putting on a scoring clinic, the ‘93s rolled through its two games on
Sunday with identical 7-1 defeats of the Madison Capitals and Texas
Attack. During the morning hours, Joseph Czarnota and Alex Gacek both
scored twice and Nick Renzi added two assists en route to the victory
over the Madison Capitals.
In the day’s second game, it was much of the same as the team showed
that it has impressive offensive depth. In this contest, Paul Russell
notched two goals and was one of six Warriors to score. Dan MacDougal
and Chris Welch both registered two assists, while Connor Helfrich,
Gavin Lavalley, Matt Baldino and Colin Blackwell played their way into
the scoring column with individual tallies. Despite the sound defeat,
the Texas Attack led in the contest after the team scored just 1:16
into the game. The lead was short lived, however, as Russell posted his
first goal just 1:11 later.
With four wins under their belts, the ‘93s advanced to the playoffs
where they faced off against the Philadelphia Junior Flyers. In the
first period, McDougal and Derek Stahl helped their team to an early
2-0 lead. Gacek added to the lead just 6:30 into the second period with
helpers coming from McDougal and Lavalley. The Junior Flyers went on to
score the next two goals, but the Warriors found a way to hold on for
the 3-2 victory. Tim Cooney went the distance in net for the ‘93s to
post the victory.
In the semi-final game, the Warriors finally met their match against
the host team from Chicago. The Chicago Mission stormed out of the
gates by scoring five unanswered goals in the first period. Connor
Helfrich put the Warriors on the board in the second period, but the
Mission responded with two more goals. Welch and Gacek added goals in
the final period, but it was too little, too late as the Warriors fell
The ’93 Elites finished the tournament with a record of 5-1.
The ’94 Elites split their games for the second day in a row. After
falling by a score of 5-3 to the New Jersey Icehouse Avalanche in the
first game, the Warriors rallied for an impressive 4-1 victory over the
Sun County Panthers.
Against the team from New Jersey, Alex Carpenter once again paced the
Warriors with a one goal, one assist performance. Carpenter and Sam
Kurker were the first on the board as they gave their team a 2-0 early
lead in the first period. The Avalanche roared back to tie the contest
heading into the second stanza. After the two teams exchanged goals in
that second period, the Avalanche pulled away in the third with two
goals midway through the period. Connor Maloney made 25 saves in the
loss for the Warriors.
The ‘94s finished the tournament on a high note. Carpenter registered a
goal and an assist while Kurker, Shea and Ferreira also scored in that
4-1 win against the Sun County Panthers.
Although the ‘95s were hoping for a better result this weekend, the
team finished with a 1-2-1 record. It was a defensive battle during the
morning hours as the Warriors entered the third period deadlocked at
0-0 with Team Illinois. A.J. Johnson collected a feed from Eddie Ellis
midway through the third period, however, to give the Warriors a 1-0
lead. Although Team Illinois responded four minutes later to tie the
contest, the ‘95s held on for the tie.
The afternoon game was a struggle as the Warriors made the playoffs and were defeated by eventual champions Detroit Honeybaked. Brian Pinho
scored the Warriors only goal in that game.