Warriors Enjoy Strong Showing in Windy City
JrWarriors2.jpg’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.

92_BMJF_445px.jpg 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.

93_BMNE_445px.jpg 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 7-3.

The ’93 Elites finished the tournament with a record of 5-1.

94_PMJE_445px_1.jpg 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.

95_PMNE_445px.jpg 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.

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