One week ago, Head Coach Andy Heinze and his Valley Junior Warriors team made a strong statement to the rest of the Eastern Junior Hockey League. With a weekend split against the Syracuse Stars - the league's top team - the Warriors established themselves as a true contender down the stretch.
Leading the charge and earning league recognition for his efforts was John Dwyer
, who was named the EJHL Rookie of the Week.
The first-year forward has shown that he has the ability to put his size and offensive prowess to good use. Last weekend, Dwyer - who stands at 6-2 and 205 pounds - netted three goals in against the Syracuse Stars.
After scoring his team's first goal on Saturday during a 4-3 defeat, Dwyer came through when it most counted the following night. He posted the game's first two goals - a pair of power play tallies - to put his team up by a score of 2-0 and set the stage for an important 5-2 victory. Noted as one of the team's most physical players, Dwyer has a true nose for the net and a quick release that has enabled him to post 11 goals and eight assists in 30 games this season.
Another star of the weekend was Kyle Haines,
who posted four assists in two games. Haines, a Topsfield resident who is third on the team in scoring with seven goals and 19 assists, has registered a point in seven of his team's last eight game. In the Saturday night game agains the Stars, Haines was instrumental in his team's comeback as he assisted on Valley's second and third goals of the night. The following day, Haines played the role of set-up man once again - this time for goal-scorer Dwyer - to help give the Warriors a 2-0 cushion that it would not relinquish. The Topsfield resident is one of the team's best two-way players and is a key member of the penalty-kill unit.
For more information about the EJHL, please visit the league web site at www.easternjunior.com